Bacardi is to launch a low calorie flavoured rum in an attempt to take advantage of the growing sales in diet and light beverages in other drinks categories.

Bacardi will launch Island Breeze nationwide in May. It will contain around 48 calories per shot, half the calories of regular rum or vodka.

It will contain no added sugar and will be sweetened with the artificial sweetener sucralose.

Island Breeze will also be 18% alcohol, instead of the standard 40% for a spirit.

"Island Breeze by Bacardi will revolutionize the spirits industry, doing what the first light beer did to the beer industry, and what the first diet cola did to the soft drink industry, "says Alfredo Piedra, chairman of global new product development for Bacardi. 

The comany pointed out that four out of the current top-selling five beers in the US are light. Likewise, diet colas' share of the cola market has grown steadily since the mid 1990s and many analysts believe one day it will overtake regular soda.

Island Breeze will be available throughout the US in May, in three flavors - Key Lime, Coconut and Wild Berry.

"Island Breeze not only tested strongly with vodka and rum consumers, but also with women who enjoy other alcohol beverages," said Paul de la Torre, global marketing manager for Bacardi new product development. 

The suggested retail price is approximately $13.99 for a 750 ml. bottle.