Cuban rum could soon hit US shores after more than a half-century of embargo
PAYTON GUION NEW YORK Tuesday 19 May 2015
French liquor behemoth Pernod Ricard could soon be the first to sell
Cuban-made rum in the US after more than a half-century of being banned
from doing so due to the trade embargo.
With relations improving between the US and Cuba, Pernod's spiced
Caribbean libation could soon come to US liquor stores and bars, and
possibly challenge Bacardi International, which actually was founded in
Pernod's CEO has indicated that the company has grand plans should the
embargo be lifted and would focus on more than just familiar Cuban
markets in south Florida.
"If the embargo is lifted, we could gain access to an enormous market
and a substantial growth booster for the coming years," Jerome
Cottin-Bizonne, CEO of Pernod Ricard's Havana Club, told Reuters.
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Mr Cottin-Bizonne estimates that the US market could increase sales by
as much as 20 million bottles per years, or 1.7 million cases, about a
50 per cent increase in current sales. For comparison, Bacardi sells
about 9 million cases of its white rum in the US and Pernod's own Malibu
brand sells about 1.9 million cases.
In Cuba, Pernod's rum brand is called "Havana Club", but it would have
to change its name in the US, as Bacardi already has the US rights to
"Havana Club". The company has said it will call itself "Havanista".
While relations between the US and Cuba have been improving over the
past few months, it is not clear if and when the embargo will be lifted.
Source: Cuban rum could soon hit US shores after more than a
half-century of embargo - Americas - World - The Independent -