Diageo forms Cuban rum joint venture

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

The premium plus rum category is growing at 16% in Europe. Stock picture:getty/igorr1
The premium plus rum category is growing at 16% in Europe. Stock picture:getty/igorr1

Related tags: Rum, Diageo

Diageo has created a joint venture, Ron Santiago S.A., with Corporación Cuba Ron S.A. The joint venture will have exclusive global distribution rights for premium Cuban heritage rum brand, Santiago de Cuba.

Diageo eyes up growth in premium rum categories, which are growing ahead of the category overall (12% for premium and above categories in retail sales value, ahead of the overall category at 3%, according to IWSR figures).

Cuban rum brands account for 9% of the retail sales value of this growing segment globally. Furthermore, the premium plus rum segment in Europe, the key market for development of the Santiago de Cuba ​brand, is growing at 16%, ahead of luxury spirits, at 9%.

Santiago de Cuba will join Diageo Europe’s portfolio of Reserve luxury spirits, building on the premiumisation trend and the cocktail culture. The rum is made in the province of Santiago de Cuba, and holds the protected Designation of Origin Cuba. It comes in four variants: Carta Blanca, Anejo, 11 year old and 12 year old.

Dayalan Nayager, managing director, Diageo GB, Ireland and France, said: “The joint venture with Corporación Cuba Ron is in keeping with our strategy to invest behind growth opportunities in premium and above brands. 

“Consumers are looking for new and authentic experiences and working with Corporación Cuba Ron provides a great opportunity to expand our portfolio in segments of the rum category whose growth is being driven by premiumisation globally and in Europe.​”

Juan Gonzalez Escalona, President of Corporación Cuba Ron SA, said: “Santiago de Cuba was born in the city where the history and tradition of Cuban light rum originated. It is an expression of its people and part of our Cuban tradition and culture.  We are looking forward to working with our partners to build the success of this premium rum outside Cuba​."

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