Cream Liqueurs: Crème de la cream

Maharaj says: “Younger consumers across all markets are looking for excitement, novelty and choice. Amarula is a quality cream liqueur, made from the distinctive marula fruit that grows wild and is only found in sub-equatorial Africa, making it a truly unique offering. With exciting new marula-based flavour variants with ingredients with African provenance such as the Amarula Madagascan Vanilla Spice now available in duty free globally, these consumers are given the chance to discover and explore more about the rich African continent.”

The brand also ticks the boxes that have become seemingly indispensable to newer consumers – provenance, sustainability and authenticity – as well as attracting advocates of wildlife preservation with its widely documented support of the dwindling African elephant population. Says Maharaj: “We are faced with the harsh reality that there are only 400,000 elephants remaining in Africa and that every 15 minutes an elephant disappears, which means by 2030 Africa’s elephants could be completely extinct. Amarula is intimately connected to the elephants through our shared African roots and the unique marula fruit. As a brand, we will continue to drive awareness and education of African elephant conservation throughout the year.

“In addition to the #DontLetThemDisappear global melting ice elephant activations in key cities such as Rio, Toronto, Nairobi and Johannesburg, we are running multiple awareness and donation programmes in all of our regions. For example, in Canada in August we ran a multi-channel and digital campaign for every re-tweet donating a Canadian Dollar to the cause, and in the US for every bottle sold over October to December, a US dollar will be donated. The team are working tirelessly to protect these magnificent animals to ensure their future existence.”


While the image of flavoured variants of existing brands may have suffered under the somewhat heavy-handed approach of some vodka producers, there appears to be a trend back into the sector – even gin is starting to embrace the approach.

Estonia’s Vana Tallinn Cream – created with cream and the Vana Tallinn liqueur – described by brand owner As Liviko export manager Anna-Kai Tõrsas “the regional bestseller”, is “constantly on the hunt for innovation”. She says: “Four years back we launched innovative Ice Cream flavour in the range, and it became an instant hit among the traditional flavours and consumers.

“At the end of 2017 we added Marzipan flavour with differentiated packaging – targeted mainly at young women. The non-traditional packaging and collaboration with various online cooking theme influencers proved the category still to be very relevant to younger consumers. So it is very much about pursuit of innovation and being relevant.”

Tõrsas adds: “The modern consumer is more and more educated today, appreciating natural flavours and ready to discover new tastes or praise the slightly forgotten ones. One can say that millennials do not want to drink the same drinks as their parents, but at the same time – they do, just by mixing them with different or more interesting ingredients. There’s a sort of rediscovering of old classics through a new angle. Cream liqueurs provide a great alternative to strong spirits – typically around 16% vol abv makes a great ‘one small drink on the rocks’ for home consumption occasions or out with friends.”