Thursday, August 25, 2011

With DonQ On The Rise, Serrallés USA Eyes Wider Portfolio

(by Shanken News Daily) Up to now, Puerto Rican rum maker Destilería Serrallés has derived the lion’s share of its business from its contract production of Diageo’s Captain Morgan. But with the Captain’s production being moved entirely to the U.S. Virgin Islands by next year, Serrallés is set to lose around 70% of its volume. Accordingly, the company is now shifting gears and investing to drive sales of its own rum brand, DonQ, in the U.S. market through its Serrallés USA unit. With that effort proceeding, Serrallés is also now eyeing partnerships and new brand introductions to broaden its U.S. portfolio.
A well-known brand in its domestic market of Puerto Rico, the DonQ rum range has made impressive progress since entering the U.S. market just three years ago. The brand rose 61% by volume in each of the past two years to reach 190,000 cases in 2010, according to Impact Databank. The DonQ line-up includes Cristal, Gold and Anejo offerings ($12.99-$15.99 a 750-ml.), an ultra-premium Gran Anejo ($59.99) and a range of flavored rums ($13.99) featuring Limón, Coco, Mojito and the newly introduced Pasión (passion fruit).
For 2011, Serrallés expects DonQ to hit more than 210,000 cases, and has set a longer-term goal of reaching 1 million cases, according to John Eason, vice president, national sales manager for Serrallés USA. “The time is really ripe for a firm number-two player in the silver popular rum category,” he says, noting the relative lack of meaningful competition in the segment compared with other spirits categories. “In rum, and silver rum in particular, it’s always been Bacardi. We definitely think there’s an opportunity to make a challenge and take some share in the category.”

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