By Andy Young
Diageo Australia has told TheShout that there is a "massive year ahead" for Bundaberg Rum.
Bundaberg Rum’s marketing manager Jodi McLeod said that there was a lot of work coming from the brand to educate consumers on premiumisation in the category. There are also plans to re-ignite the brand and the new Bundaberg visitor centre is a big part of those plans.
McLeod told TheShout: “This is a massive year for Bundaberg at Diageo, we’ve put a lot of focus behind Bundy for the next 12 months and beyond. I think most of the retailers would have seen that we are back in the NRL as a starting point, so it’s time for us to start acting like a big national icon at scale, and that is exactly what we are using the NRL to do.
“We’ve also just launched a new ready-to-drink, which is Bundaberg Lazy Bear, which is our biggest launch for three years for Bundy or Diageo in terms of a ready-to-drink, and we are seeing an amazing response to that because it is tapping into a number of trends.
“We’ve just opened our new Visitor Experience Centre in Bundaberg, we spent $8.5m upgrading that, for two reasons. One, a renewed focus on tourism for us and driving that experience, and the point of that is to drive education. So, education on Bundaberg Rum’s history as an Australian icon, we are the Australian spirit, but also education on how to drink rum and we have consumers working with distillers on how to blend, mixing their own blend and learning about rum.
“Then number two, is that in the second half of the year for us there are some very exciting things to come, which are all about us re-addressing and re-igniting love for the brand with all Australians and really establishing the fact that this is the Australian spirit. Around February [retailers] will be seeing some big stuff from Bundy."
McLeod added: “The thing for me with Australia and rum is that we should all be behind rum because it is the Australian spirit and Bundy in particular is an Australian icon. But this is a massive year for Bundy, we are pushing to re-ignite the growth back into the category and behind this brand. We’ve already seen it with the NRL, with the launch of Lazy Bear and there is much more to come at the beginning of the year, so just watch out for Bundy this year.”
Although Bundaberg Rum has seen overall sales fall in recent years there has been an increase in demand for premium expressions, in particular the 2015 Blenders’ Edition, which was named as the World’s Best Rum at the World Drinks Awards in London earlier this year.
For more on what is happening in the rum category, take a look at the September issue of National Liquor News.