Brown-Forman Acquires Diplomatico Rum

Food & Drink

As the rum category continues to heat up in the US market, Brown-Forman Corporation has acquired Diplomatico Rum and all related assets, including a Panama production facility, from Destillers United Group S.L.

“Diplomático Rum will join our expanding portfolio, giving Brown‑Forman a market leading entry into the fast-growing super-premium rum category,” says Lawson Whiting, President and CEO, Brown‑Forman Corporation.

According to the IWSR, Diplomatico is the top selling super- and ultra-premium rum, and the second best super-premium + worldwide. The brand is present in over 100 countries, with France, Germany, and the US as its biggest markets.

Brown-Forman
BF.B
has a broad portfolio, including whiskey giants — Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve, BenRiach, Slane Irish Whiskey, and The GlenDronach — and major consumer alcohol brands, including El Jimador, Casa Herradura, Finlandia vodka, Ford’s Gin, and Chambord. This is the company’s first rum.

And it’s a great one to acquire. Not only does the Venezuelan company make premium rums that sip well on their own and in cocktails, but its a mindful producer. Their idyllic distillery in the Amazon sits on miles of rolling pastures, where almost 1,000 dairy-producing water buffalo and cows feed on used grains from the distilling process. Diplomático Rum consists of three ranges of complex rums, including highlights like single vintage rums and older age statements.The Traditional Range includes Planas, Mantuano, Reserva Exclusiva, and Selección de Familia.

“This aged rum brand has distinctive packaging, strong brand positioning, and is a delicious tasting spirit,” Whiting continues. “As part of this acquisition, we will welcome more than 100 new employees to Brown‑Forman.”

The transaction will close within the next 90 days. A statement from Destillers United Group S.L said as follows: “We are proud to have pioneered and been instrumental in developing the super-premium+ rum category around the world. Diplomático Rum is ready to accelerate its growth with Brown‑Forman, one of the world’s most well-known spirits and wines companies.

Rum is becoming an increasingly interesting category. Super premium rum has grown at an annual rate of 17% over the last five years.

In the US, the category grew 4% over 2020 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.2% by 2027. Major players saw significant growth — Malibu grew 20.7% and Bacardi, 8.5%.

According to the Distilled Spirits Council, rum pulled in $2.3 billion in sales in 2019, with the ultra-premium rum category growing more than 6% year over year. Future Market Insights’ report Premium Alcoholic Beverages Market Outlook (2022-2032) projected that the overall premium alcohol market will be worth $1.7 trillion by 2032.

One month ago, Brown-Forman acquired the Spanish gin company Gin Mare.

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