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Bacardi Ups Ante In Havana Club Fight

January 8, 2018

The war of words between Bacardi and Pernod Ricard over Havana Club continues. In a statement to SND, Bacardi took aim at comments in which Pernod said Bacardi was misleading consumers by marketing a Puerto Rico-produced rum under the Havana Club name.

In response, Bacardi said: “In 1959, Cuba’s communist revolutionaries confiscated and nationalized the Havana Club distillery and exiled the Arechebala family, who created Havana Club in 1934. While the revolutionaries seized the distillery and trademark, they could not steal the recipe or the expertise to produce Havana Club. That expertise left Cuba with the Arechebalas. In 1994, Ramon Arechebala passed the recipe and production techniques to the Bacardi family—also Cuban exiles—to preserve the legacy and allow the brand to live on.

“Since 1993, the Cuban government and Pernod Ricard have been selling rum marketed under a stolen name. Unlike Pernod Ricard, the Bacardi and Arechebala families are not misleading consumers. Our Havana Club rum is now proudly made in Puerto Rico…based on the original recipe and techniques used by the Arechebalas.”

The renewed accusations follow Bacardi’s move last month to introduce a new “Forever Cuban” marketing campaign for its U.S.-marketed Havana Club label. —Daniel Marsteller

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