Diageo follows rival into a flavoured rum revival

Diageo has launched a coconut-flavoured liqueur called Parrot Bay in an attempt to pull consumers into the flavoured alcoholic beverages (FABs) market.

Parrot Bay – made from a blend of Caribbean rum, spirit and coconut flavours – has an alcohol-by-volume rating of 20 per cent. Already successful in the US, it is being test-marketed in Tesco and Somerfield, with a recommended price of £11.29.

The launch comes soon after rival Allied Domecq unveiled flavoured rum drinks called Malibu Mango and Malibu Pineapple. The launch is being supported by a £2m marketing and advertising programme.

Marketing support for Parrot Bay will concentrate first on sampling, point-of-purchase activity and customer magazine features. When it gains nationwide distribution, it will be supported by a significant marketing and advertising programme.

This is not the first time that Diageo has tried to revive interest in the rum market. In the past, it has tried to launch the Original Spiced version of Captain Morgan, as well as Captain Morgan Gold. Both lines have since been discontinued.

Original Spiced was available sporadically in the UK for several years. Two years ago, Diageo appointed Grey London to handle advertising for the brand in an attempt to take it mainstream (MW May 29, 2003).

Grey Worldwide handles advertising for Parrot Bay in the US. It is advertised on TV with the strapline: “The Parrot is Calling.”

According to AC Nielsen 2004 figures for off-trade value sales, the white rum market rose by 5.29 per cent to £107m, while dark rum fell by 1.34 per cent to £44m.

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