While trade sources report that cream liqueurs (as a collective category) were off marginally last year, the drumbeat of enthusiasm from both aspiring entrepreneurs and veteran marketers is gaining volume from PR sources. To some degree the quest for breakthroughs in the category has been masked by the prejudiced perception that pigeonholed cream liqueurs as somehow declasse—fallen to the unenviable ranks of a sweet dram for sweet old grannies. To industry Mandarins that did not look like a growth market.
Therein, of course, lay a classic open door to opportunity. As everyone knows, RumChata ran right through it. That success in itself was enough to spawn an industry of would be's and wanna be's. Now every time Baileys twitches, someone else launches a new cream liqueur. According to one analysis, there's even a "craft" cream market featuring brands like Orphan Girl, Kringle Cream and Boston Cream Liqueur. (Of course there is also a YouTube video on how to make your own Tequila Rose. Self-reliance is still thriving.)
But the analyst's question is do real numbers back up the hype? Or are the Mandarins right and only a significant disrupter is likely to make a breakthrough. We looked for hints to an answer in BMC's DrinkTell™ database.
We quickly found that at the top of the category it's definitely not a growth market except, of course, for that anomaly RumChata.