Fri | Nov 16, 2018

Campari committed to Appleton, says CEO

Published:Thursday | January 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/Gleaner Writer
Campari Group chief executive officer Bob Kunze-Concewitz proudly poses with a bottle of the JOY Anniversary Blend Rare Jamaican Rum, special edition, produced by J. Wray & Nephew's master blender Joy Spence, which sold out locally and internationally in record time.

Today's grand opening of the new Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience in St Elizabeth, where the Campari Group invested more than US$7.2 million, is a mega testament of its commitment to the 269-year-old Jamaican brand.

"It underlines the fact that we've been in love with the Wray & Nephew business and the Appleton Estate business for quite a while. It took us 13 years and three attempts to buy it, and we believe in the growth prospects of dark, aged rum internationally, and we believe we have acquired the best and the finest in our business," Campari Group chief executive officer Bob Kunze-Concewitz told The Gleaner yesterday. "Appleton Estate is one of our six global priority brands."

Pointing to the pivotal role the state-of-the-art premium attraction will play in advancing the group's economic growth trajectory in the global market, the Austrian native explained, "That venue is where we can really almost intimately tell our story on an individual basis to potential consumers and reveal some of the magic of this iconic brand. It's a significant investment for us, but we believe that it is definitely going to be a key building block for expanding and accelerating the growth internationally of the Appleton Estate."

He added, "Our Jamaican business is actually our fourth largest subsidiary after the US, Italy, and Germany. It's important for us for building the business in Jamaica but also, you know, we run the Caribbean out of here again. So it's a very, very important route to market our global priority brands, which is what we're really focused on."

 

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The Campari Group is the sixth largest player worldwide in the premium spirits industry, with a portfolio of more than 50 premium and super premium brands promoted and distributed in over 190 markets worldwide.

Clement 'Jimmy' Lawrence, chairman of Wray & Nephew, spoke to the importance of the value-added impact beyond the "liquid to lips" aspect of the one hour and 15 minutes tour.

"What we have is truly a premium brand we've established at its home in this salubrious environment, surrounded by the Cockpit Country. You get to see the cane itself. It's all very linked and makes for a unique selling proposition with greater understanding. So that's what we're doing," said Lawrence.

"We've crafted every fine detail of it to exactly reflect that. So when visitors come in and experience it, it will be repeated in their minds. It will be reinforced from the visual, from the auditory, taste. All the senses will be stimulated, and that will be as strong a reinforcement as one can get."

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com