Brugal Aims To Steal Vodka Share With Its First Premium White RumJuly 11, 2012
Edrington Group’s Brugal rum brand is launching Brugal Extra Dry—its first premium white rum offering—exclusively in the U.S. market through Edrington’s U.S. distributor Rémy Cointreau USA.
Aged in Bourbon casks for a minimum of two years, the 40%-abv expression is triple charcoal filtered to achieve clarity and smoothness. Rolling out in select U.S. markets—including New York, Chicago, New Jersey and Massachusetts—this month, Brugal Extra Dry is priced at $19.99 a 750-ml. Distribution is slated to expand to the West Coast later this year.
The debut is part of Brugal’s ongoing strategy of boosting its focus on the U.S. market, which Brugal brand development manager Juan Campos calls the “next big market for rum.” Brugal Extra Dry’s smooth, dry taste profile is intended to help the brand compete not only against other rums, but also against the vodka category in the U.S.
“We wanted to break the rule that rum has to be sweet, and create the level of smoothness that is typically expected in an ultra-premium vodka,” says Campos. “We want to steal consumers away from the vodka segment.” Brugal Extra Dry is also targeting mixologists and bartenders in search of drier alternatives for cocktails, with recipes including the Brugal Dry Mojito and Brugal Dehumidifier (a variation of the Sidecar). In addition to cocktails, Brugal Extra Dry will also be supported by sampling both neat and on the rocks.
The new addition joins Brugal’s Añejo ($19.99 a 750-ml.), Extra Viejo ($25.99) and recently launched Brugal 1888 ($49.99) expressions in the brand’s U.S. portfolio. According to Impact Databank, Brugal was flat at 127,000 cases in the U.S. in 2011. Globally, the Dominican Republic-produced rum was down 0.4% to 4.2 million cases last year.
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