Blog: Think you know the future for rum? Join the club
Andy Morton | 9 May 2014
It was the biggest swing in London since the '60s.
Presented with the motion “The future for rum lies with connoisseurs not clubbers”, the audience at last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers debate looked odds-on to uphold it, after a pre-event poll showed a majority in its favour. An hour, and a second vote, later, though, and the room had turned.
To be fair to Ed Pilkington, Diageo's Western Europe marketing head and whose job it was to support the motion, he was up against it. His adversary on the night, former Bacardi man Chris Searle, only had to open his speech with the words “clubbers are many, connoisseurs are few”, and the debate, for my money, was over.
We were, after all, in the JP Morgan suite at the old Prudential insurance headquarters in the city of London, the financial capital of the world. Most of the 150-strong audience were analysts, brokers or people otherwise engaged in the pursuit of money.
Pilkington's attempt to persuade them that the niche world of collectors and spirits aficionados could support rum's growth appeared lightweight when compared to Searle's description of a huge clubbing consumer base that is getting bigger by the year.
“Clubbers are aspirational, and going global,” Searle said. “And their numbers are compelling for the future of rum.”
For many of us in the audience, it was case closed.
Would the thought of working in a morgue stop you from drink driving? ...
You would be forgiven for thinking that the US cider boom is over. Sales growth of as much as 90% in the past few years has shrunk to double figures. ...
The drinks industry could do more to benefit from new technology. ...
The soft drinks world is abuzz today over what an executive shake-up at PepsiCo might mean to on-going speculation over CEO Indra Nooyi's successor....
- A-B InBev and its SABMiller divestments - Focus
- SABMiller in Cent'l & E Europe - What is for sale?
- Paddy Irish whiskey - The Facts
- Is the wine industry confusing its consumers?
- Where does AB InBev see the future of beer?
- Pernod Ricard to widen Our/Vodka sales reach
- Remy Cointreau names new Travel Retail exec
- Leonardo DiCaprio joins Runa drinks board
- Pernod in talks to sell Paddy whiskey to Sazerac
- US wholesalers point to Absolut decline - report
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global travel retail insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Carbonates in India
- Consumer and Market Insights: Spirits Market in the US