Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer
CHRISTELLE HARRIS, marketing director of Everglades Farm, producers of white overproof rum brand, Rum Fire, is confident her product can take control of about 20 per cent of the local market before long.
The brand has also been creating waves globally, notching four gold medals and two silver medals at international wine and spirits competitions since entering the market in 2011. This enviable achievement has helped to lift its prestige in the United States and European markets.
However, while the company considers growing the global customer base as being important, Harris said efforts are now being made to capitalise on the brand's growing popularity among young Jamaicans who make up approximately 60 per cent of the local population.
"We have placed a heavy focus on the local market as our brand continues to grow in popularity among the consuming public," said Harris in a recent interview with The Gleaner. "The popularity of the brand, especially among the young adults, makes achieving our target even more realistic."
"With a young brand, it has to be about market penetration and we will continue our aggressive marketing and promotional campaigns so that patrons can have the Rum Fire experience," added Harris.
Rum dominates 68 per cent of the liquor consumption market. J. Wray & Nephew Limited, which controls about 80 per cent of the rum market, is the dominant brand.
The 5,600-acre Hampden Estate property, located close to the Trelawny/St James border, is the home of Rum Fire. The Hampden establishment remains the only distillery in Jamaica that specialises exclusively in the making of heavy-pot still rums. It exports close to 500,000 litres of absolute alcohol annually to Europe and to a lesser extent, South Africa.