Cuba successfully staged the celebration of the International Rum Festival, held with more than 320 participants from different countries and a great majority of them are considered important producers, suppliers and experts in rum details. Regla Gimenes, a member of the Organizer Committee of the event, stated that lunching the new brands is an expression of a free competition that will increase the preference for the Cuban rums in the world market gaining more customers for the spiritual drink.
“We are convinced that the new brands will please the most demanding people,” Gimenes said referring to rums like Santiago de Cuba, Cubay, Legendario, Arecha, Mulata, Santero and Caney which are ranked as a great acceptance in the local market based on the tradition of the Island.
The festival schedule includes commercial fairs, keynote lectures, theoretical meetings, cocktail competitions, blind tasting as well as visiting factories and sugar cane plantations. This is a strategy to generate interest in Cuban rum as a tourist attraction in the country.
Havana Club is the leader brand among the Cuban rums, having sold 1.9 millions of rum cases in Europe and Latin America last year so that the US, which is the main market for this product, has a prohibition for purchasing due to the blockade policy of the US government.
According to the specialized magazine Impact, Havana Club climbed to the 50th position among the 100 world premium so that in 2001, it was on the 63 position and in 2002 accepted the number 54.
In 10 years Havana Club grew up to an annual rate of 17 percent, becoming the rum brand with the fastest growth even though it forbidden to be sold in the US, which represents more than 1/3 of a potential market.
2003 was an important year for the Havana Club because of its new packaging design (recipient, lid and label for identification), together with Havana Loco presentation in Italy where 10 millions of bottles were sold in 8 months, and in Cuba that reported a sale of 362,000 bottles in one month only. Italy is the leader in the demand of this rum in Europe followed by Spain.
This is the second event related with the Cuban rum that is held in the island this year. The second edition of the Havana Club Week was celebrated in March, with the participation of around 800 people among suppliers, customers, barmen and leaders of the industry as well as the specialized international press.
author: Maria Antonieta