WASHINGTON, D.C., 06/29/2021 – WSWA is thrilled to announce Campesino Rum as the winner of WSWA’s 2021 Brand Battle Rum Category Tournament. Five Rum contenders wowed the judges and viewers with their unique stories and innovative products. Contenders were met with questions from an expert panel of wholesaler judges about the various ways to age and produce products, plans for consumer engagement and market expansion, and deeper questions on how these brands are getting consumers to change their perspective on Rum as a spirit.
Each Brand Battle Tournament also invites attendees to vote for their favorite contender. Awarded the People’s Choice winner was Ron Botran, a Guatemalan brand focused on sustainability.
Following the pattern of the previous Brand Battle competitions, the Rum category was competitive and exciting. For Campesino, a focus on changing the narrative about Rum and using transparency in labeling separated them from the other contenders for the judges, winning them this nomination and a spot in the Brand Battle Championship event on September 14.
Hatton Smith II said after winning the category, “The goal of this company is to get people to change their perception of Rum by providing them information, education and transparency. Campesino wants to be a purveyor of unique Rums from around the world and highlight the places that they come from – not trying to mask it with big numbers, flashy labels, or the use of additives. We want to be authentic and transparent with these products.”
The category event also featured a session from SipSource analyst, Dale Stratton, who provided analysis on the Rum category. Rum currently stands as the fourth largest spirit by volume and is growing by 2.4 percent. It’s led by the highest price point category, which is up 11 percent. Showing positive growth within the category are flavored Rums, growing at 14.7 percent.
“There are brands out there doing awesome things for Rum and I hope it continues. The Rum category has got a long way to go [in the U.S. market] but Campesino is going to be the brand you'll see to take it there. Campesino is going to bring people into Rum,” added Smith.
About 2021 WSWA Brand Battle Tournament
WSWA will be holding the 2021 Brand Battle Tournament virtually and has extended the event series for craft, start-up and small production wine and spirits into a bracketology-style tournament. Brand Battle will showcase rising brands with unique stories, packaging and flavor profiles in an engaging digital environment while panels of wholesaler judges provide valuable, thought-provoking insight and feedback to competitors across eight different product categories. Whether you are interested in competing or viewing the competition, you are sure to walk away with greater knowledge of the industry and see hot emerging trends and products.
To learn more, please visit www.wswa.org/brandbattle.
About Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
WSWA is the national trade association representing the distribution tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 380 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States.