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Bacardi Planning New-Product Blitz

March 15, 2012

Just days after naming a new global chief executive, Bacardi says it’s planning a raft of new products for the U.S. market. The spirits giant’s president for North America, Robert Furniss-Roe, speaking yesterday at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit, said Bacardi intends to enter the U.S. Cognac category early this summer as part of an effort to tap into the growing brown spirits trend. Furniss-Roe declined to provide specifics on the Cognac launch, but Bacardi does own the Baron Otard label, which isn’t currently available in the U.S. Cognac shipments to the States rose 3.6% to the equivalent of 3.77 million cases last year according to the BNIC, though they’re still well below the pre-recession peak of 3.9 million cases.

Meanwhile, Bacardi is prepping new extensions for both its flagship rum brand and Grey Goose vodka. Grey Goose will soon add its fourth flavor, Cherry Noir, which joins lemon, pear and orange in the brand line. Grey Goose’s U.S. depletions rose 1% to 3.4 million cases last year, but the brand was leapfrogged as the market’s second-largest imported vodka (after top-ranked Absolut) by lower-priced Svedka, according to Impact Databank.

Additionally, Bacardi rum will see two new flavors this year, Wolf Berry—a blend of blueberry and wolf (or goji) berry—and Black Razz, a mix of raspberry and Mexican soft fruit black sapote. The rum brand’s Bacardi Cocktails premixed offshoot is also expanding this year with several low-calorie variants including Light Mojito and Light Piña Colada.

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