Rum, juniper forest, rum!
As gin fatigue sets in, the sweeter Caribbean spirit is creeping into the spotlight
If you think the thirst for rum is a thing of the past, Jefferies International says you may want to think again.
A “rumolution” may be on its way, with the brown liquor from the Caribbean being the next spirit to benefit from the boom in cocktail culture, said Edward Mundy, a Jefferies analyst in London. Aperol maker Davide Campari-Milano would be well positioned, thanks to its planned purchase of three rum brands from the French island of Martinique, he said.
“We see potential for the category to become hot and trendy, and for rum’s reputation as a refined spirit to be regained,” Mundy wrote in a note on Monday.
Campari didn’t disclose how much it might pay for the parent company of Bellonnie & Bourdillon Successeurs, producers of the Trois Rivières and Maison La Mauny premium rums, as well as the local brand Duquesne. The brands had sales of €24.1m in 2018, Campari said on Saturday, when it announced it was in talks for the acquisition.
Drink trends are affected by changing tastes, as some popular beverages go out of fashion and are replaced by hotter ones over time. In the UK, gin fatigue is setting in, Mundy has said. Renewed interest in rum, the drink’s sweet taste profile, its affordability and its suitability for mixing in cocktails are all reasons for optimism on the prospects for rum, Mundy wrote.
While there’s “no clear consensus on what the next big thing will be” in spirits, a “much talked-about rumolution” needs to be accompanied by investments from companies such as Pernod Ricard, the Jefferies analyst said in a report earlier in July. Rum has been one of the slowest-growing liquor categories over the past decade, he said.
Rum is a “premiumising category currently at the heart of the mixology trend and growing cocktail culture”, Campari said in its statement.
While Campari’s latest acquisition is small, the Italian company “has a strong track record of buying dusty, unloved assets, reinvesting and revitalising them”, Mundy wrote. After all, Campari is the company that turned a northern Italian staple into a global drink of summer: the Aperol spritz.