Last night in London kilts and headdresses collided as two very distinct worlds united. It’s hard to imagine there has ever been a more amusingly incongruous marriage than Scotland and Brazil. Certainly the marketing minds behind Ballantine’s Brasil have been having fun with the idea. The launch's accompanying cocktail creations include the Highland Samba and the Glen Coco.
Talking to Drinks International, Cottin-Bizonne said current sales growth of Havana Club in Asia has been “interesting” from a "small base" but that Pernod Ricard has the distribution network to respond "when" the demand swells.
Yves Schladenhaufen, Havana Club's international marketing director said: "Pernod Ricard has the most powerful distribution network in Asia, especially in China”.
“We are not worried. If something is happening [in Asia] we will be well placed because of our network. The success story of Havana Club was putting together the Cuban rum making know-how with the distribution network of Pernod Ricard.”
Speaking about the current Havana Club strategy in China, Schladenhaufen said: “The short term strategy is seeding Havana Club in the western-style on-trade in major cities – where they are making cocktails – but this is still a tiny part of the business. [Whereas] whisky and cognac is sold in the traditional on-trade – karaoke bars for example.”
Cottin-Bizonne explained that while Pernod Ricard and Cuba Ron are poised with Havana Club, one brand cannot create a long-term trend.
He said: “We cannot force a trend in the Asian markets but when a brand has built its core base and is known worldwide it can take off in Asia. We need to build a cult brand in Europe first.”
Havana Club, having sold 3.84 million 9-litre cases in 2011, is the third largest international rum brand, behind Bacardi (19.56m cases) and Captain Morgan (9.20m cases).