The UK-based wine and spirits group Allied Domecq plans to launch two flavour extensions to its Malibu rum brand in the US.

The brand extensions, to be pineapple and mango, will be available from May. The drinks will retail at US$13.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle and US$16.99 for a one-litre bottle.

Allied said today that the flavours are not expected to cannibalize from Malibu's sales.

"Market demand and research indicates that today's consumers want more flavor variety in their spirits - just look at the flavor explosion among vodkas like Stolichnaya," said Rennie Solomito, vice president of marketing, white spirits, Allied Domecq Spirits, North America.  "It is only natural that Malibu, the 'flavored rum originator,' brings consumers two of the world's most popular flavor varieties with pineapple and mango.  They are natural choices for extending the world-famous Malibu trademark."

"Once we develop a new product, like Malibu Mango or Malibu Pineapple, it is critical that we appropriately and creatively brand it," said Ilene Grimes, brand manager, Malibu flavored rum at Allied Domecq Spirits, North America.  "In doing so, we conducted extensive research on how to uphold the significant brand recognition of Malibu, yet call out our new and distinctly different product offerings." 

Allied said that research showed that 91% of consumers recognized the white Malibu bottle within 1/25th of a second.

"Preserving this recognition, while introducing two completely different Malibu products, was a true challenge. The result - the bottle shape remains the same, as does the logo. Yet, the Malibu Mango and Malibu Pineapple bottles themselves are vibrant and colorfully translucent, allowing consumers to view the clear rum inside while creating a link between the packaging and the light, exotic fruit flavor of the product," said Grimes.

The new rum flavors will be marketed under the current "Seriously Easy Going" marketing platform, which features reggae singer Shaggy.