26 Sep 2013 Amarula a top 100 global premium spirits brand
Placed in 81st position, it has also taken the 36th spot on the recently published IWSR list of the most popular spirits brands sold globally in travel retail (i.e. the duty-free channel). At the beginning of 2013, Amarula was identified as the seventh most frequently requested liqueur amongst the world’s top style bars by Drinks International. Additionally, locally, it was ranked amongst the top ten spirits brands in the Sunday Times Top Brands survey published last month.
Global marketing spokesperson Siobhan Thompson (newly appointed head of WOSA effective November) said that what gave Amarula the edge in an intensely competitive global market was the unique flavour, derived from the tangy marula fruits harvested at the height of summer from trees indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa.
She said the brand, distributed to over 100 countries worldwide, was also distinctive for its immediate association with Africa and elephants, highlighted in much of the brand’s marketing.
“The authenticity of Amarula’s origins, its romantically exotic provenance and the fact that marulas are loved by elephants and other animals of the wild, lend it a very special allure.”
One of the most effective ways of building custom is through sampling, she confirmed. “The brand has an extremely high trial-to-conversion ratio. Once people are introduced to it, they also find it to be extremely versatile. People enjoy it as an affordable indulgence to wind down or at parties or clubs. It also is a great way to end a meal, served with or even as dessert.”
The increasing affluence of Africa had fuelled good growth across the continent, she said. It was the category leader in both Angola and Kenya and continued to attract loyalists in many other countries, notably Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Amarula has also become a highly desirable drink across Latin America, particularly Argentina and Chile, while maintaining its position as the indisputable market leader in Brazil. In Asia it continues to make great gains, as in Australia.
Thompson believes that Amarula’s reputation is considerably enhanced by its active support for social and environmental sustainability. The not-for-profit Amarula Trust funds research into elephant behaviour as the basis for elephant conservation programmes in public and private game reserves. The Amarula Elephant Research Programme, run by Professor Rob Slotow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is world-renowned for its work.
The trust also funds field guide training for young people keen to work in conservation. It funds job creation programmes, establishes and maintains boreholes to ensure communities close to Phalaborwa in Limpopo have access to potable water, and runs an early-learning centre close to the town for young children, many of whose mothers are harvesters of the marulas for Amarula.
“When people discover how their support for Amarula sustains communities and promotes conservation, it makes the brand an even easier choice,” says Thompson.