Diageo and Corporación Cuba Ron have formed Ron Santiago, a joint venture that will have exclusive global distribution rights to Cuban rum brand Santiago de Cuba.
Described by Diageo as “the second-largest premium Cuban rum”, Santiago de Cuba has four core variants: Carta Blanca, Anejo, 11-year old and 12-year old. The brand will not be distributed in the US.
Diageo said the premium plus rum segment in Europe, the key market for the development of the Santiago de Cuba brand, is growing at 16%, ahead of luxury spirits, at 9%.
“The joint venture with Corporación Cuba Ron is in keeping with our strategy to invest behind growth opportunities in premium and above brands,” said Dayalan Nayager, managing director, Diageo GB, Ireland and France.
“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, said: “We are proud to announce the creation of this joint venture, which will bring the award-winning Santiago de Cuba to consumers around the world.
“More than just a rum, 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.”
Last week, Diageo announced the acquisition of a significant majority shareholding in distilled non-alcoholic spirits brand Seedlip.