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.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
Diageo is looking to crack India's RTD market with the launch of Smirnoff Ice and its stronger variant, Smirnoff Black, in the country. ...
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
The Lakes Distillery has launched the first product to be distilled at its northern England stills, a mid-priced gin that uses ingredients from the Cumbrian countryside....
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Heineken to stay "active player" in beer M&A - CFO
- Diageo's future brighter than present suggests
- Diageo's Q1 Results by Region
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- Diageo puts Beckham centre stage in Haig Club ad
- Moet Hennessy sales falter in YTD