WHITEFISH, MT / ACCESSWIRE / April 14, 2015 / With a spate of high profile PR coups for their newly launched brand of premium rum having gone off without a hitch in recent months, Blue Water Global Group, Inc. (BLUU) continues cutting a swath in the booming premium rum market with their Blue Water Ultra Premium Rum(TM) and aged spiced Blue Water Caribbean Gold(TM) Premium Rum.
Premium Rums As A Revenue Stream And A Brand Awareness Marketing Tool
Since the launch of the rum brand in February, on the gorgeous island of St. Maarten at an event featuring international reggae star Bankie Banx, often considered to be the Caribbean equivalent of Bob Dylan, Blue Water has subsequently showcased their line of premium rums at the 25th annual Moon Splash Music Festival on Anguilla (the island just north of St. Maarten) started by Banx. The company even helped sponsor this year's Moon Splash, which is the longest running festival of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean and Blue Water was quite proud to also present acclaimed Jamaican reggae band Third World, who performed alongside such established artists as Freddie McGregor, and rising Jamaican reggae star Jah Cure. Moon Splash is a world-famous music festival featuring an eclectic mix of blues, folk, reggae and soul stars, put on in an intimate setting at the Dune Preserve on Anguilla's pristine Rendezvous Bay, making it the perfect venue for Blue Water to help further cement their brand identity and put the Blue Water name and beverage on the lips of influential regional players ahead of the launch of their initial restaurant location and the rum's entry into U.S. markets early next year.
If the video below does not display correctly, follow this link to view an interview with Scott Sitra, BLUU CEO: https://vimeo.com/124226789
The company's premium rums are produced and bottled in the Dominican Republic where time honored distilling methods for rum stretch back to the eighteenth century and the product is sourced from only the freshest pure sugarcane, before being crafted by a maestro ronero (master rum-maker). The company has a shrewd plan to expand their rum brand throughout the targeted Caribbean market where they intend to develop their Caribbean themed casual dining restaurants, before moving the rum into broader U.S. and global spirit markets., and BLUU is currently in the process of migrating the brand from St. Maarten and Anguilla to neighboring islands like Anguilla, St. Barts, the French West Indies, and the British West Indies.
Another high profile event showcasing the company's authentic, pure and classically Caribbean rums is slated for mid-April, when Blue Water will be on-hand at the important industry trade show, Miami Rum Renaissance Festival in Florida. This trade show attracts numerous key people from the industry and saw over 12k attendees last year, making it another superb venue for the company to showcase their premium rums to the kind of rum experts, distributors, importers and retailers who can really help open doors for the brand in U.S. markets. One of the big ongoing themes in the rum industry today is the resurgence of rum's popularity for use in mixed drinks and this topic will no doubt be a major subject of conversation at this year's Rum Renaissance Festival. Global category VP for the biggest privately-held spirits company on earth, and one of the world's major rum market players, Bacardi, recently noted to IWSR that in the U.S., drinks using white rum, like the Daiquiri, were seeing a huge comeback. This comeback has been driven in large part by enthusiastic bartenders and drinks like the Mojito and the Cuba Libre have remained extremely popular on a global scale, helping to further establish the rum resurgence.
Premium white Caribbean rum Blue Water Ultra Premium Rum can be sipped on its own, delivering a surprisingly smooth and balanced flavor. Premium white rums like this also serve ais an ideal mixer for various cocktails, and really bringings out the flavor of the limecitrus in a Daiquiri, or the lime in a Mojito. The relative softening of Castle Brands' (NYSE MKT:ROX) Gosling's rum in Q3 FY2015, with overall sales volumes off by 1.2%, despite overall international and U.S. sales up 4% and 19.8% respectively, is possibly due to their product mix consisting of Bermuda black rum and amber rum. Corby Spirit and Wine (TSX:CSW.A) is another company trying to innovate in the space, bridging out from their dark, tannic and traditional Navy rum, Lamb's Navy Rum, a blend of eighteen Caribbean rums from a variety of islands like Trinidad and Guyana, with a new spiced cherry version to bring in a wider audience to their super-premium dark rums. Versatility in end-user consumption is one of the key drivers for the premium to ultra-premium rum space and bartenders can easily make good use of white rum, as well as the Blue Water Caribbean Gold Premium Rum, with its pure color and sweet undertones from being aged in oak barrels, making it an exceptionally vibrant and classic Caribbean spiced rum, which is even good neat or on the rocks.
The global spirits industry as a whole is set to grow at around 4.1% per annum in coming years according to the September 2014 Global Research & Data Services market report forecast. Rum makes up a 2.6% and growing chunk of that sprawling global market and according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., the nearly $70 billion domestic spirits market saw overall volume rise 2.2% last year to 210 million cases, as supplier sales rose 4% to $23.1 billion. Analysis of the rum segment by Just-Drinks/IWSR out in March of this year indicates that the rum market, excluding "value" and low-priced rums, will grow roughly 8.4% by 2019 to some 64.5 million cases, with the premium, super-premium and ultra-premium segments significantly outpacing the market at around 7.8%, 9.2%, and a whopping 48.1% CAGR respectively.
Caribbean Themed Restaurant Roll Out Proceeding Nicely
Using the premium rums as a marketing tool to help ground the planned rollout of additional Blue Water Bar & Grill restaurants is an ingenious plan and carries with it the added benefit of being a powerful revenue stream for the company. With construction at their initial restaurant location in Indigo Bay, a 150-acre eco-friendly residential development on beautiful white sand beaches within a stone's throw of the thriving Port of St. Maarten on the southern side of the island, having progressed nicely since the groundbreaking in mid-February, Blue Water has been busy drumming up attention for the restaurant concept via their rum. The layout for this first restaurant location looks impeccably well done and customers should be able to enjoy a glass of Blue Water Rum in the swim up pool bar before the end of this year according to information relayed to interested consumers on Blue Water Global Group's Facebook page.
Plans to develop additional restaurants, following the cruise line ports of call in the Caribbean made by the major sector operators like Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line, offering the primarily North American and European tourists a convenient and predictably good Caribbean themed casual dining experience, is a revolutionary move that captures the essence of the tourism Caribbean industry. A report by the British Daily Mail recently showed that only about 80% of cruise passengers leave the boat to dine or shop at a given port, in part because much of the retail market is designed to cynically grab cash from tourists, offering low value at a higher than average cost. This phenomena makes the Blue Water Bar & Grill concept, engineered to offer tourists a high-quality, distinctively Caribbean, but affordable and relaxing island dining experience, a considerable draw that could even bring in more dollars to the local economy. This restaurant concept is aimed at enticing otherwise finicky tourists to get off the ship and experience a slice of the Caribbean, which will be presented in an idyllic and consistent fashion via the Blue Water Bar & Grill locations, giving tourists a real reason to get out, see the town and experience a real culinary delight compared to the cheap/free, mass produced fare they can get onboard.
Blue Water has a truly robust concept here, catering to consumers who have come to expect consistent quality at an affordable price from other successful sector operators like Indianapolis-based franchisor and licensor Noble Roman's (OTC:NROM), whose Noble Roman's Pizza and Tuscano's Italian Style Subs brands helped NROM pull down a nearly 98% jump in pre-tax net income last year, raking in $2.85 million, or $0.14 per basic share. Unlike Noble Roman's though, Blue Water's revenues will not get bogged down by upfront franchisee fees and commissions as the company rolls out the Blue Water Bar & Grill restaurant model over the next five years to other Caribbean islands. A closer comparison for Blue Water might be casual elegance dining player Kona Grill (KONA), which currently operates 31 restaurants serving American grill favorites with an international influence, as well as award-winning sushi, and which just opened their newest restaurant location in the brand new, upscale Mall of San Juan.
The global cruise industry itself is doing quite well, with a projected $39.6 billion in total business, up 6.9% over 2014, and around 22.2 million passengers, up 3.2% over 2014, according to CruiseMarketWatch projections derived from their proprietary databases Cruise Pulse(TM) and Port Pulse(TM), as well as data from leading cruise industry players like Carnival and Royal Caribbean. This is a 7% jump over the roughly $37 billion pulled down by the industry last year and with total passenger projections set to rise 8.1% by 2018 to around 24 million, the move by Blue Water to capture the hearts and minds of tourists to one of the industry's biggest destinations, the Caribbean, is a very solid play. St. Maarten alone brought in a record 2 million cruise passengers last year, a 17.6% increase from 2013, and conservative analysis by the island's biggest newspaper puts the overall spend for only 80% of that visitor total at around $300 million. Florida Caribbean Cruise Association data pegs total cruise tourism expenditures at around $350 million for St. Maarten, second only in the region to The Bahamas, making this island an ideal location for the company's initial restaurant location. Blue Water has been posting some videos of the panoramic ocean view during ongoing pre-construction excavation at their St. Maarten site and the location's beachfront does indeed look stunning, making the existing site plan schematics readily spring to life in the viewer's mind.
Equity Investment Arm Makes Blue Water A Stable Growth Engine
A second major share reduction (12.5 million, or 6.8%) by Blue Water in late February, along with a proportional three-year vesting of 3.9 million restricted shares into the hands of President and CEO Scott Sitra and VP Michael Hume, shows investors just how serious the company is about preventing future dilution and maintaining insider skin in the game. The share reduction follows up on the 150 million shares of common stock cancelled back in November of 2014 that were held by Taurus Financial Partners, LLC, an affiliated shareholder controlled by Sitra, with whom Blue Water has a strategic alliance agreement, and through which the company continues to pursue a third revenue generation stream in the form of early stage equity investments and registered spin-offs. A major milestone achieved during January of 2015 with the company's first equity investment, Stream Flow Media, Inc., in which Blue Water owns an overall equity interest of 19.8%, marked a point of considerable progress for BLUU's investment holding business, with submission of Stream Flow's market maker disclosure documents. The company now simply awaits a FINRA ticker issuance for an OTCBB listing of game-based marketing firm Stream Flow, which is keenly focused on developing online gaming solutions for mobile corporate training, as well as customer loyalty and retention, via cost-effective third-party engagements.
Blue Water Global Group has taken an aggressive approach to building revenue streams and continues to use their premium rum brand as a ramping strategy for fleshing out their restaurant model. Blue Water's investment holding business will continue to serve a key growth function and support BLUU's ambitions to see their restaurant chain dot the most-visited Caribbean islands in the near future.
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SOURCE: Emerging Growth LLC