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Malibu announces on- and off-trade activities

This summer Malibu is launching a limited edition bottle for the off-trade and unique cocktail receptacles for the on-trade.

Malibu coconut rum will be available in a new limited edition bottle created in collaboration with British fashion designer Sera Ulger, who has also developed a one-off clothing collection inspired by the bottle.

The 70cl limited edition bottles will be exclusive to multiple grocers and independents from April 14, 2014 for six weeks, with an RRP of £14.99. The launch will be supported with a fully integrated customer marketing and digital campaign. 

Last year, Malibu introduced fun serving vessels in the form of real coconut cups into the on-trade and due to their phenomenal success, the coconut cups will be launching into the off-trade as a gift with purchase, which will be available from July.

On trade specific

The brand is taking ownership of the Piña Colada – one of the best-selling cocktails in mainstream bars – by collaborating with cocktail consultants Soul Shakers.

The brand has identified huge potential to engage target consumers by creating ‘I want one of those’ moments – when surveyed, 24% of non-Malibu consumers and 42% (CGA April- June 2013) of Malibu consumers said they were more likely to buy Malibu if it was served in a unique sharing vessel. Therefore the brand is launching a host of unique serving receptacles including Piña Colada single serves, Malibu pineapple corers and real coconut shell cups. The branded vessels emphasise the Piña Colada’s forte as a refreshing shareable cocktail and give licensees simple, innovative tools to drive sales through their summer drinks offering. 

Further research showed that licensees would also prefer possessing more serving vessels to help drive sales, so the brand is also increasing visibility in-bar by providing 42% more Malibu trays, 62% more branded high ball glasses and 52% more pitchers.  Malibu is also taking advantage of the growth of the shot category – shots account for one in every seven spirits served, so to communicate Malibu’s versatility, the brand has created a host of ‘shot-tails’ – including Mango a Coco and Coconut Hot Shot.

Another of the brand’s key initiatives is to create a summer experience for the on-trade – between May and September, Malibu will embark on a ‘Spirit of Summer’ tour involving 300 bars from Brighton to Blackpool. The tour offers licensees the chance to drive visibility by hosting a permanent menu feature listing a selection of Malibu cocktails. The brand will also lend support in the form of summer POS and consumer gifts including Malibu sunglasses, hats and Frisbees.

Funkin collaboration

Malibu has teamed up with cocktail experts Funkin, producers of the award winning Funkin Piña Colada mixer to capitalise on the popularity of the fourth best-selling cocktail in mainstream bars.  The partnership provides the on- and off trade with a cocktail mixer that just needs the addition of Malibu to make the ultimate Piña Colada.

In line with Malibu’s new drinks strategy – which focuses on the Piña Colada as its signature serve – the Funkin cocktail mixer will help busy bar staff to make this popular cocktail in just 10 seconds. Combining Costa Rican pineapple and Indonesian coconut cream and adding natural pectin, Funkin have created the first-ever homogenised 100% natural Piña Colada mixer, which results in a consistent, great-tasting product that doesn’t separate when mixed. The Piña Colada is created by simply mixing the Funkin pack with Malibu, with the mix of coconut and pineapple flavours appealing to Malibu’s target audience.

Within the on-trade, Malibu and Funkin are working in partnership to develop co-branded route to market kits which include glassware, pitchers and tent cards.

In addition, Malibu and Funkin are launching a co-branded 750ml Piña Colada pack in the off-trade featuring the Malibu logo and a ‘best served with Malibu’ communication to help dial up the partnership and direct consumers to the rum that will help to re-define the Piña Colada as the drink of the summer. With an RRP of  £2.99 the 750ml pack will showcase the brand new Piña Colada recipe, designed to drive popularity amongst a wider target audience.

Adam Boita, marketing cntroller for Pernod Ricard UK, says: “Our collaboration with Funkin is the perfect brand fit and an exciting opportunity for Malibu to move one step closer to ‘owning’ the Piña Colada. This classic cocktail is rooted in Malibu’s history, and with the growing popularity of cocktails in both the on and off-trade, the Funkin Piña Colada pack is an innovative and convenient way of bringing the taste of Malibu Piña Colada to an extensive audience.”

24 March 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor