The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2015

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april 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  133 its portfolio past the flagship coconut expression in 2002; this eventually evolved into utilizing the fundamentals of its mission—maximizing the idea of summer—as a compass when introducing new elements to its portfolio. "We spend a lot of time thinking about what our consumers expect from Malibu," Hayes explains. "New introductions have to fit in with that; it needs to be about recreating that feeling of and being the flavor of summer. At the same time, the attention span of our entry-level customer is not a long one, so the life of our new flavors may only last about 18 to 24 months." Daunting as it may seem to continually come up with yet another summery product, Malibu—which has invested in an astonishing 28 innovations since 2011—makes a point not to pigeonhole itself to flavor innovation only. The Malibu team takes a step back to see where consumer trends are heading as a whole and finds a way to get to these opportuni- ties first. Since a lot of people take Malibu onto the beach in the sunny days of summer, simplifying the process of lugging ingredients and making cocktails created a wonderful opening for a solution: a pre-made Malibu cocktail in a pouch—easy to take wherever you are headed while avoiding glass near the pool. With young adults flocking to large concerts and music festivals during the warmer months, the company saw yet another chance to enter a new arena—literally. Malibu Rum Cans fit perfectly into these venues: no waiting in long lines for a bartender to mix a drink, a non-breakable container that's easy to dispose of once finished and a packaging that parallels the atmosphere of the fun-loving crowd to a T. "The can format didn't intro- duce any new flavors, but it brought Malibu to new places," Hayes continues. "I have to admit that we underestimated how well these would do, but looking back, it makes sense. They let you have that taste of summer in places it would be hard to have it otherwise." Even the timing of these rollouts follows the rise in thermometer readings—new products hit the shelves in February, just in time for spring vacations to warmer destina- tions. During these trips, people try out new activities and brands, and plenty of photos get posted on social media, which builds buzz around companies like Malibu as summer begins—producing the perfect storm for the launch of these innovations. Needless to say, Malibu has us all looking forward to warmer days and summertime happenings. Shines

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