Bacardi Serves Up Shot of Superfruit

From Jell-O to the juice aisle, “superfruits” have been all the rage for the past couple years. Now, liquor brands are increasingly getting into the act with the launch of Bacardi’s Dragon Berry flavored rum this month.

Superfruits, like acai and pomegranate, are known for their high antioxidant levels and nutrients. Bacardi is the first to add dragon fruit to a spirit. Others, like Van Gogh Vodka, have added pomegranate.

Bacardi’s new spirit is meant to target the general market as well as multicultural male consumers. Prints ads, created by Moosylvania, will run in Maxim, Rolling Stone, Vibe and other publications. Digital buys will support.

The addition of superfruits to spirits is still quite unusual, said Lynn Dornblaser, analyst, Mintel, Chicago. She said Bacardi is likely trying to leverage the cachet these exotic fruits carry, however, “I think most consumers are smart enough to know that there isn’t going to be any sort of quantity to have any sort of health benefits.”

Gordon Chisholm, Bacardi’s brand director for flavored rums, said in a statement: “In today’s environment, flavored rums continue to drive innovation in the rum category. Bacardi Dragon Berry brings together the classic taste of strawberry and enhances it with the exciting and dynamic flavor of exotic dragon fruit.”

Alcohol industry consultant Arthur Shapiro said the Bacardi line extension is “smart and adventurous. After all, how many more lemon-flavored spirits can you have? A lot of people are gravitating towards superfruits because they provide a unique taste. I think it’s something you’re going to see a lot more of [in the spirits category.]”

Bacardi did not reveal the marketing spend for the brand. Last year it slashed its media budget by 57 percent, per The Nielsen Co. Overall, it doled out $32 million in U.S. ads for its Bacardi portfolio in 2008.