From Crop to Consumption

New joint venture formed to distribute Santiago de Cuba rum

Diageo has announced the creation of a joint venture, Ron Santiago S.A., between a European Diageo subsidiary and Corporación Cuba Ron S.A., a leader in the production of premium Cuban rums.

 The joint venture will have exclusive global distribution rights to Santiago de Cuba, a premium Cuban heritage rum brand. 

Globally, premium and above rum segments are growing ahead of the category overall, with premiumisation trends driving growth. Over the past four years, premium and above rum retail sales value has grown 12%, whilst overall category growth was 3%. Cuban rum brands account for 9% of the retail sales value of this growing segment globally. 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%.

Santiago de Cuba will join Diageo Europe’s portfolio of Reserve luxury spirits, building on the trend towards premiumisation and the cocktail culture which are driving growth in key cities and resorts across Europe. With four core variants, Santiago de Cuba is the second-largest premium Cuban rum, renowned for its high quality and provenance in the traditional rum distilling region of Cuba.

Dayalan Nayager, Managing Director, Diageo GB, Ireland and France, commented: “The joint venture with Corporación Cuba Ron is in keeping with our strategy to invest behind growth opportunities in premium and above brands. 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 SA, 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.”