April 8, 2011
Old, very strong rum sports new look

St Vincent Distillers, Ltd (SVDL), producer of the popular Sunset Very Strong Rum, today reached a marketing milestone with the addition of Sparrow’s Aged Rum to its lineup of quality distilled beverages.{{more}}

With the rebranding of Sparrows, formerly known as Sunset Premium Aged Rum, SVDL completes the transformation, from local distillery to a major player in the international rum market, which has been nearly 10 years in the making.

The introduction of the Sparrows brand is the culmination of a decades-long effort by SVDL General Manager Kenrick Greaves to reshape the image of St. Vincent rums in the world market.

“This is a momentous occasion for SVDL and for St. Vincent,” Greaves said. “I am excited to be a part of the transition to a world-class facility.

First, in 2009, Sunset Captain Bligh was rebranded as Captain Bligh XO Special Reserve Rum, winning gold medals in every major international competition; in 2010, the brand was given the right to display the coveted Authentic Caribbean Rum marque (ACR), a distinction awarded to a limited number of products that achieve accepted industry standards.

Then, in 2010, Sunset Light Rum was reintroduced as SLR also claiming coveted awards in major competitions and taking the local market for white rum by storm.

Now, with its snappy new labeling on the outside – the same quality product that made Sunset Premium Aged Rum a hit with the bar crowd is on the inside – Sparrows is set to wow a whole new generation of rum connoisseurs with its distinctive taste and colour.

Rebranding is just one area where SVDL has updated its image. The distillery in Mount Bentick, Georgetown, on St. Vincent’s windward coast, has undergone a facelift, with new fermentation tanks, new equipment and a bright, new look for visitors. With a new image, the company has also stepped up its sales and marketing efforts, led by Export/Promotions Manager Phillippa Greaves and Merchandiser/Promotions Executive Dazilon Arthur.

“We’re very excited about Sparrow’s,” Ms. Greaves said. “Our Premium Aged Rum product has always been one of our most popular blends, and I think the new labeling is just the right approach to appeal to a younger drinking crowd. With the popularity of rum today, if you look at all of our products together, we are positioned to be in the very top tier of the world market. Sunset Rum is in a class all by itself; Captain Bligh is considered among the finest rums in the world, and SLR is just gaining momentum in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Now, with Sparrows, we think we have a product line that is hard to beat.”

Since the St. Vincent distillery was purchased from the Government of St Vincent in 1996 by the Greaves family, owners of C.K. Greaves and Sunrise Supermarkets, SVDL has grown from a regional distillery serving local markets to a highly-respected producer of quality rum products here at home and in the U.S. and Canada, and more recently in European markets.