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drinkers into the experience of rum. Trends at
the moment are with various styles of rum.
"Consumers are being inquisitive and
looking for different tastes and flavour
profiles. They are prepared to spend a little
more for a luxury experience. Currently in
Australia, due to the increased amount of
rum brands and styles that are now available,
the consumer is able to really dive into the
world of rum and explore."
Allan Shearer, CEO of island2island,
distributor of Angostura Rum and The
Kraken Black Spiced Rum, agrees: "As an
aged, premium rum, Angostura tends to
be more niche in Australia, however we're
experiencing strong growth. We tend to
be favoured by early adopters or more
discerning rum drinkers. We find that once
consumers understand how ageing improves
the depth and flavour complexity of the rum,
they more readily seek out and adopt us into
their drinking repertoire.
"Accordingly we spend a lot of time
educating staff on the frontline in smaller
bottle shops and bars where consumers
frequently come to explore new experiences
and genuinely want someone in the know to
guide them. Discovery is important and they
like to take their time over their purchase but
once engaged quite often come back to share
their experiences and feedback with the staff
who advised them."
Diageo Australia is also looking at how
educating consumers, and retailers, in the
heritage, craft and ageing qualities of rum will
help drive premiumisation within the category.
Bundaberg Rum's marketing manager, Jodi
McLean, said education is key for the brand
and for growth in the rum category.
"The best advice I can give to retailers is
that the missing link in rum as a category is
education for consumers on what rum is and
why they should step up, in terms of flavour
profiles," McLean said.
"You can't expect them to step up if they
can't see the family together. If they see the
family then they can navigate through the
price points, see the flavour descriptors and
then see what they mean and that is the thing
that will get consumers to step up."
Education was also one of the key reasons
that $8.5 million has been invested in the
recently opened Visitor Experience at the
distillery in Bundaberg.
"So education on Bundaberg Rum's
history as an Australian icon," McLean said,
"and secondly education on how to drink
rum. Part of the Visitor Experience is an
experience called blend your own rum. We
actually have consumers working with the
distillers at the distillery on how to blend,
they get to mix their own blend, learn about
rum aged in different barrels and make their
own blend that they can take away."
Shearer added that the trend towards
drinking better quality rum is a great
opportunity for retailers to engage with their
customers and encourage them to trade up.
"Premium spirit drinkers place a great deal
of importance on provenance and heritage.
They want to know more about what they
are drinking and the origins of the drink.
The more authentic the story, the deeper
the connection and therefore the stronger
the loyalty. Shoppers and consumers look
to retailers to help them find the brand that
works best for them and that's why we put
so much importance on education.
"In our experience, consumers heading to
60 | SEPTEMBER 2016 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
the bottle shop generally know the occasion
or purpose before they arrive, so it's really
more about the brand, quality and price they
want to spend."
Another brand looking to move into
Australia's rum category is Fiji Rum Co,
which is launching in October with two new
brands, Ratu, which is the Fijian word for
'chief' and Bati, the Fijian word for 'warrior'.
Ratu is the super-premium expression and
the producer is going to market with three
SKUs: a dark five-year-old; a liqueur, which
is eight-years-old; and a spiced five-year-old
as well. Then Bati will go to market with a
dark, spiced and a white rum which are all
Senior brand manager Blake Kramer agrees
that consumers are now much keener to
explore everything that the rum category has
"We believe that consumers nowadays are
more educated on rum," Kramer said. "If you
go back, Bundaberg was 98 per cent market
share 12-15 years ago. They have slowly
started losing market share to premium
imported rum, which has started coming in
and cutting up the pie a bit more.
"We believe that consumers are now more
aware of rum, aware of the different flavour
orientations, rums from different regions,
different production processes and different
ageing capabilities with rum, so there is
definitely that premium, craft element to rum
and consumers are open to exploring it."
And while consumers are open to exploring
the category, Kramer believes that the growth
Appleton mist over cane.
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