Tide turns for Bundy Rum in Queensland
THE tide is turning for Bundaberg Rum.
After a long, chilly slump, the big white bear is back on top in the Sunshine State.
The brand is growing its sales in Queensland for the first time in ten years.
Results from its parent company Diageo for the 2017 financial year show the brand grew its overall reported net sales by 21% - after a 10% decrease in the 2016 period.
The encouraging news follows the Bundy brand's liqueur being crowned as the world's best at an awards ceremony in London last week.
The Banana Toffee Royal Liqueur took out a Gold Outstanding award at the Internationa Wine and Spirits Competition.
"We've had some massive achievements,” Bundaberg Rum brand manager Duncan Littler said.
"There's no higher honour than the Gold Outstanding.
"It shows the world we not only make outstanding rums but world class liqueurs, too.”
The win follows celebrations in March when Bundaberg was awarded World's Best Dark Rum at the World Drinks Awards 2017, also in London.
Mr Littler said the sales turnaround in the company's home state was the result of a determination to do something different.
"We've launched new packaging and advertising, and we're back in growth in the Queensland heartland.”
The Lazy Bear range is being touted by Diageo as "the biggest premix innovation for close to a decade”.
The mid-strength rum and ginger beer premix, launched last year, was the result of "a lot of time and research to work out what consumers wanted that was slightly different”, Mr Littler said.
Lazy Bear has a 3.5% ABV and contains only 5g of sugar per 100g.
"Lazy Bear follows a consumer trend towards more 'down tempo' drinks. It is lower in ABV (alcohol by volume) and lower in sugar than traditional ready-to-drink (beverages).
"It's about targeting a different occasion...and saying when you're heading to that afternoon barbecue, instead of drinking beer, try a Lazy Bear.
"There is still a lot of work to do but with all the great innovations we've done, we're feeling we're doing the right things in Queensland and in Bundaberg.”
Diageo Australia managing director David Smith the booze giant's 2.7% growth in the 2017 financial year was in spite of challenges in the spirits category.
"Despite consumers having to pay very high taxes on every bottle, innovation has driven the category into premix spirits growth,” Smith said.
"Despite the positive FY17 performance, with the spirits sector facing twice-yearly CPI increases and the average priced bottle of spirits now more than 70 per cent tax, the current path of taxation is unsustainable for our business,” he said.
"It won't be long before Australians are paying more than $100 for a case of Bundy Rum & Cola, around twice the price of a case of beer.”