In the 2022 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Bacardi-Martini Australia’s Managing Director, Simon Owen, describes the value of doing the right thing for customers, consumers, and the environment.
Global supply chain challenges, the increasing cost of raw materials, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic did not stop Bacardi-Martini Australia from delivering a flurry of new products into the market throughout 2021. The company was also certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’ – an achievement that its newly appointed Managing Director, Simon Owen, is particularly proud of.
“Our culture and spirit are unlike any other company and after a tough year of lockdowns and remote working, it is particularly rewarding to receive this incredible accolade,” he said.
In February 2022, Bacardi is celebrating 160 years since its founder, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó established the company and revolutionised the world of rum. Now, 160 years on, Owen anticipates that super premium rum is going to be a key trend in the year ahead, along with premiumisation, canned cocktails, and health and wellness.
“There’s been a significant shift in consumers choosing quality over quantity and, as you can imagine, with brands like Bombay Sapphire, Bacardí, Grey Goose and Patrón in our portfolio, that’s been to our advantage,” he said.
The premiumisation trend is also reflected in the demand for convenient ready-to drink cocktails in cans that are made from high quality ingredients, which aligns seamlessly with drinks like the Bacardí Mojito and Bombay Sapphire G&T.
Owen added: “Our newly released Grey Goose Essences delivers perfectly on [the health and wellness] trend and our St Germain elderflower liqueur is an incredible drink. Who can resist the long, refreshing taste of a St-Germain Spritz or for that matter the Patrón Paloma?
“Looking ahead, super premium rum is the next big thing and with our 160 years of rum-making expertise, Bacardi must take the lead in helping our trade partners raise awareness and appreciation of this important new category.”
Taking the helm
Owen took on the Managing Director role in April, coming from the UK where he had most recently been Director of Grocery at Bacardi since 2016. He says being appointed as Managing Director of Bacardi-Martini Australia is a “dream job” and he looks forward to bringing his learnings from the UK to this region.
“There are of course many differences between this region and the UK but where there are similarities is in the influence of the on-trade and their ability to set trends and on the importance of the off-trade to the entire industry,” he says.
In the UK, Bacardi pioneered a new way of partnering with London’s influential ontrade. This way of working has influenced how Bacardi operates in countries around the world including Australia.
“In the off-trade, I know how important it is to deliver perfect execution at scale. I want our portfolio of iconic brands to shine on every shelf, in every store, in every town and city across the region.”
A leader in sustainability
Bacardi has a goal of being the world’s most environmentally responsible spirits company and has already reached several milestones, including sustainably sourcing botanicals for Bombay Sapphire gin and grapes for Martini sparkling wines.
“Looking ahead we have important sustainability goals on the horizon. After cutting the plastic in our gift packs by 50 per cent in 2021, we are on track to achieving our 2023 goal of removing all single use plastic from our secondary packaging and our point-of-sale materials,” Owen said.
“We will then continue on this important journey as we set our sights on a number of 2025 targets, we have aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
Article written by Deb Jackson.