Cream Liqueurs: Crème de la cream

Philippe Biais, export director, of Waldemar Behn, which produces Dooley’s, agrees: “When you talk to young people, they tend to say they do not want to drink the same stuff as their parents. In reality, on special occasion, they tend to reproduce the same pattern of consumption of their parents.”

Also on the flavour trail is Quintessential Brands Group, which counts Feeney’s and O’Mara’s Country Cream among its portfolio.

Shane Hoyne, chief marketing officer, says: “Through innovation, cream liqueurs are reinventing themselves and becoming relevant to a whole new audience of consumers who are keen to discover and try new products. These consumers expect new and exciting flavours, and also value quality and craftsmanship highly, so at First Ireland Spirits, our expert team of liquid developers led by our master blender, John Drennan, have been working on developing new flavours that will bring new shoppers to the Irish creams category, but always with a focus on outstanding quality.

“Providing Irish creams of the utmost quality with a real sense of provenance is of paramount importance for First Ireland Spirits as we believe that is essential for the long term sustainable success of the category.

“Rolling out globally now, we expanded the O’Mara’s Country Cream range in September 2018 to include three new flavours – chocolate mint, chocolate orange and salted caramel. At 14.5% abv, each flavour combines locally-sourced dairy cream and melted chocolate. The range has been designed to tap into after-dinner occasions, which we’ve seen develop in markets such as the UK, US and Australia in particular.

“Our aim is to broaden the appeal to the millennial demographic, while highlighting our Irish provenance. We refreshed the brand identity to create a more modern, contemporary look. The new branding now features a Celtic knot design which dials up our Irish heritage and brings a fresh new look to the brand.”

Also targeting younger consumers is Rumchata, the world’s largest rum-based cream. Tom Maas, Rumchata founder and master blender, says younger audiences are looking for “more artisanal, higher-quality and more modern cream liqueurs like RumChata”.

He adds: “For this reason, Rumchata is really not a “cream liqueur” in any traditional sense. Rather, as the world’s biggest selling rum cream, it was and continues to be a disruptor not only within the cream liqueur category, but more broadly, all liqueurs.

“Since the brand’s inception in 2009, we have grown from a few thousand 9-litre cases to more than 600,000 cases. Growth in the first three to four years came from expanded distribution, new sizes and products in the US. Since then, however, a good portion of the growth has come from international expansion; from nearly nothing in 2014, we’re now in 27 countries, territories and business segments. We define it that way to include our growing duty free business segment. Global sales to the US military are also posting solid growth, and we’re pleased with our expansion in domestic markets in Canada, Mexico and in the select countries in Europe we have chosen.

“Most recently, Frappachata by Rumchata has become a significant contributor to our business. It was launched just over a year ago as the world’s first shelf-stable adult premixed coffee beverage – delectable Rumchata mixed with high-quality coffee in a new attractive RTD bottle.

“As we mentioned, the growth is driven by the younger gen Xers, as well as millennials. These two groups tend to go out more, enjoy socialising over cocktails, and are more apt to look for new concepts like Rumchata for their drinks of choice.”

Lacking in innovation? Hardly. The cream liqueurs category seems really to have stepped up its game and tapped into a rich vein of potential new consumers.