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Bacardi Goes On Offensive In Spiced Rum Segment With New Push For Oakheart

November 10, 2015

Bacardi is undertaking a new effort in the spiced rum category, backing its Oakheart offshoot with a campaign intended to steal share from dominant competitor Captain Morgan. Launching this month, Oakheart’s new positioning is entitled “All In, All Heart,” and is aimed at millennial male consumers. The push emphasizes male camaraderie and exhorts target consumers in key markets to “bench the captain” and join the “Brotherhood of Oakheart.” Bacardi is also touting the results of a recent nationwide taste test that it says favored Oakheart over Captain Morgan “by a statistically significant margin.”

Launched in 2011, Bacardi Oakheart ($15 a 750-ml.) has made inroads in the spiced segment—reaching 180,000 cases on 1% growth in 2014, according to Impact Databank—but remains a relatively small player compared with Captain Morgan’s 6.3-million-case presence in the U.S. Meanwhile, brands like William Grant’s Sailor Jerry (at 750,000 cases) and Proximo’s The Kraken (320,000 cases) are also presenting stiff competition in the spiced category.

The new Oakheart campaign comes amid a $25 million marketing push Bacardi recently announced on its flagship rum brand—its largest-ever promotional spend. Fabio di Giammarco, global vice president for Bacardi rum, told SND the broad strategy is for Bacardi to assert itself as the category leader within “specific consumption occasions.”

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