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Beam’s Cruzan Launches Velvet Cinn, Distiller’s Collection, Bolstering Upscale Push

August 1, 2013

Beam Inc.’s Cruzan rum appears to have fully recovered in the U.S., where the brand has returned to growth via an aggressive innovation and premiumization push. After losing ground in 2009, Cruzan posted solid gains in 2010 and 2011, last year continuing the trend with a 3.4% increase to 750,000 cases, according to Impact Databank. This summer, Cruzan plans on adding to its increasingly upscale stable with the release of Cruzan Velvet Cinn, a new premium rum horchata.

“The overall spirits category is driven by premiumization and flavor trends, and as rum horchatas gain in popularity and presence, Cruzan rum saw the opportunity in the marketplace to develop a premium option,” Nabil Wanna, Beam’s senior brand manager of rum, told Shanken News Daily. Velvet Cinn, which is priced at around $20 a 750-ml., joins Agave Loco’s surging RumChata brand (priced roughly parallel to Velvet Cinn) in the burgeoning U.S. rum horchata category.

Likewise, this fall, Cruzan will continue to expand its higher-end options with the Distiller’s Collection, a line of premium, blended aged rums. The range will include several new expressions—such as Cruzan Estate Diamond dark rum and Cruzan Estate Diamond light rum—as well as the brand’s existing Single Barrel entry, made with vintage rums aged between 5 to 12 years.

The new offerings, meanwhile, are just the latest in Cruzan’s efforts to tap emerging trends, joining its previous forays into the spiced rum segment with Cruzan 9, and the high-proof rum category with Cruzan 151 Proof. The brand has also been particularly active on the flavor front, recently adding Key Lime and Passion Fruit extensions to its 11-flavor lineup in April.

“Cruzan has grown at an average of 12% annually for the past three years,” adds Wanna, who credits the brand’s strategy of offering more unique flavors and premium products priced as high as $30. “We’re excited for our year ahead in terms of our innovations and we anticipate seeing continued growth in the rum category.” In addition to Cruzan, Beam also owns the Calico Jack and Ronrico rum brands.

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