Driven through retailer and consumer demand, Sailor Jerry is launching its first range of RTDs, with the Sailor Jerry Rum & Dry and Rum & Cola to be released nationwide from mid-September.

Sailor Jerry’s foray into the RTD space is in line with consumer research that says drinkers are having an increasing appetite for more robust taste profiles and premium products that offer them convenience and moderation at the same time.

Andrew Skehan, the Marketing Manager at William Grant & Sons (WG&S), told National Liquor News that expanding outside of full-sized bottled spirits (FSBS) and into the RTD space, allows Sailor Jerry to appeal to that wider range of consumers and in more drinking occasions.

“Our retailers and consumers have been asking ‘when are you going to bring out Sailor Jerry in RTD format’,” said Skehan. “They knew there was a market for it, we’ve been listening to that request, and now we’re coming back to that with our solution.”

Sailor Jerry is Australia’s number one spiced rum (June Simtac) and that same liquid is being used to produce the new RTDs.

Today’s consumer, and in particular millennials, are looking for more than just a great tasting beverage. It’s often the provenance or story behind how a drink is produced that grabs their attention, so the team at WG&S have very deliberately chosen to proudly display ‘Spiced Caribbean Rum’ dominantly on the front of the cans.

“Spiced rum has become a relatively flat category, so a way to reignite a flat category is through innovation,” said Skehan. “Innovation and recruiting for the category is really important for the overall health of spiced rum, not just for Sailor Jerry.”

The Sailor Jerry RTDs are in 375ml cans that feature the trademark Sailor Jerry hula girl. They are six per cent ABV with a RRP of $26 per four-pack or $58 per 10-pack.

With the Sailor Jerry FSBS having a lot of fans in the slightly older demographic, the intention of the new RTDs is to bring in the 18-25-year-old drinker, and in different occasions, specifically daytime drinking occasions such as barbecues, house parties and festivals.

Sailor Jerry Brand Manager, Hannah Ellerkamp said: “We really wanted to disrupt the category, so when we first started looking at our designs, we had to look at the competitive space and found a lot of it to be black. It was clear in our consumer research, as well as with our design, that it really stands out on shelf.

To celebrate the launch, Sailor Jerry will be running a series of promotions over summer aimed to really tap into those daytime drinking occasions.

The “bold and smooth as hell” Sailor Jerry RTD is the first in a host of innovations from the brand in Australia, with another Sailor Jerry innovation called Savage Apple also earmarked for release soon.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....