Campari is helping to further the international reputation of Jamaican rum and cement its own place in the premium rum market with the opening of a new permanent interactive boutique for Appleton Estate at Sangster International Airport.
The boutique at the airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica, was opened by Campari Group’s global travel retail arm to provide an engaging new experience for duty-free shoppers that gets them closer both to the Appleton Estate range and to Jamaican rum as a category.
Hailed as the most digitally advanced activation in Appleton Estate’s history to date, the new experience combines a range of interactive touchpoints that take visitors on a journey through the world of Jamaican rum while also guiding them through the boutique.
Using a newly created mobile program, shoppers can scan bottle labels to discover more about Appleton Estate’s rums, including its Signature, 8 Years Old Reserve, 12 Years Old Reserve Casks, 15 Years Old Black River Casks, and 21 Years Old Nassau Valley Casks expressions. Through the program, they are given information about the inspiration behind each rum and how it is produced, before having the chance to enjoy a cocktail at the boutique bar made with their chosen Appleton Estate rum.
The program also offers shoppers a personalised gifting options. Personalised messages can be created via the digital platform for its 15 Years Old and 21 Years Old expressions, which can be viewed through a QR-enabled neck hanger on the purchased bottle.
Recent Appleton Estate release the Ruby Anniversary Edition, launched in late 2022 to celebrate Appleton master blender Joy Spence’s 40th anniversary at the distillery, was initially made a central feature of the boutique. Appleton Estate’s insignia, which combines five national symbols of Jamaica including swallow tail hummingbirds and ackee fruit, is also displayed prominently throughout the boutique – including in the form of a striking 3D copper sculpture, which sits at the centre of the boutique.
Marco Cavagnera, managing director of global strategic travel retail at Campari Group, said: “We are thrilled to open the Appleton Estate experience at Montego Bay Airport, just 50 miles from where our incredible rums are lovingly crafted. It’s a perfect premium location to engage shoppers by showcasing every facet of Appleton Estate; its rich history, passion for natural ingredients, local provenance, the skill of our master blender Joy Spence and the versatility of the award-winning portfolio created under her guidance, ensuring there is an Appleton Estate rum for any elevated occasion, from premium cocktail-making to sipping rums.
“Our goal is to prioritise the consumer experience of Appleton Estate, inviting travellers to discover this beautiful rum’s story and craft in an evocative way. This omnichannel approach blends the right balance of technology and face-to-face interaction, creating a highly connected experience enabling us to track engagement and improve our understanding and relationship with our consumers.”
Odette Dyer, director of the Jamaica Tourism Board, attended the opening of the boutique in March. She said the boutique was a celebration of “one of Jamaica’s finest rums and a proud symbol of Brand Jamaica”.
“This very strategic move to create an immersive experience for visitors that introduces your complete portfolio… fits perfectly into Jamaica’s new Blue Ocean Strategy for tourism moving forward. A Blue Ocean Strategy calls for the creation of business models that depart from traditional models based on competition and standardisation,” she said.
“This airport has been creating waves, regionally and internationally, and with the expansion now taking place, J. Wray and Nephew Limited has every reason to be proud that the first boutique store for Appleton Estate in a global airport is right here in the tourism capital, Montego Bay.”
Appleton Estate master blender Joy Spence, said at the boutique ribbon cutting: “It is a dream come true to see the signature boutique for Appleton Estate in our home, and accessible to millions of travellers right before they fly, ensuring Appleton Estate is one of the final memories and final souvenirs of our Jamaican culture.
“As a master blender I am governed by my senses and I wanted to reflect that in how our boutique comes to life. Sight, sound, smell, of course taste, and touch are all linked with our memories and our emotions. All these elements have been used in the boutique to create features that express the sincere essence of Appleton Estate and our wonderful range of aged rums.”
As well as being home to the island’s largest international airport, Montego Bay is also a popular destination for holidaymakers in Jamaica. It is also only around 50 miles from the Appleton Estate rum distillery and experience, which is located in the parish of St Elizabeth.
Established in 1749, Appleton Estate is the oldest operational rum distillery in Jamaica. Today it is part of the J. Wray and Nephew group, which is owned by Campari. It is one of the most well-known rum producers on the island, alongside other international brands Worthy Park and Hampden Estate, and all its rums are produced within the regulations of the Jamaican rum geographical indication (GI).
The opening of the boutique follows Campari’s relaunch of the Appleton Estate brand in 2020, which included the adoption of its insignia, the launch of Appleton Estate 8 Years Old Jamaican rum, and a US$7.2 million upgrade to the distillery’s Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience.
The Appleton Estate boutique at Sangster Bay Airport was opened as part of a significant renovation of the airport’s departures area. The redevelopment project includes a 1,300m2 walkthrough World Duty Free store, operated by Dufry, at the entrance to the departures retail area.