Diageo enters Cuban rum industry with Santiago de Cuba deal

Diageo has entered into the Cuban rum industry with a joint venture between its European subsidiary and rum producer Corporación Cuba Ron SA.

The deal will give exclusive global distribution rights to Santiago de Cuba, the second largest premium Cuban rum brand. 

Santiago de Cuba will join Diageo Europe’s portfolio of Reserve luxury spirits with its four core variants (Carta Blanca, Anejo, 11-year old and 12-year old).

Cuban rum brands account for 9% of the retail sales value of global premium rum and in Europe, the key market for development of the Santiago de Cuba brand, it is growing at 16%.

Dayalan Nayager, managing director, Diageo GB, Ireland and France, said: “The joint venture with Corporación Cuba Ron is in keeping with our strategy to invest behind growth opportunities in premium and above brands. 

“Consumers are looking for new and authentic experiences and working with Corporación Cuba Ron provides a great opportunity to expand our portfolio in segments of the rum category whose growth is being driven by premiumisation globally and in Europe.”