OKSEN Artisanal Spiced Rum
Famille Oksen - France’s pioneer artisan producers of handmade spiced rum, a unique taste experience.
- Lège-Cap-Ferret, France
Categories: Food & Beverage Non-Digital B2C
International Sales Manager
Head Sommelier Restaurant Chapon Fin (Bordeaux) - Consultant of Liquid
Investor, Advisory Board Member, Strategic Consultant
Investor and Advisory Board Member
Investor and Advisory Board Member
Investor and Advisory Board Member
Over 150 million bottles of spiced rum are sold annually around the world. Following the success enjoyed by boutique gins and vodkas, the opportunity to provide consumers with our spiced rum crafted to an ancestral French recipe is ready for taking.
Our family have been preparing infused rums in the purest artisanal ways from our home near Bordeaux since 1973. We now want to share the taste experience of our handcrafted range of infused rums, building local awareness and also awareness beyond the shores of France.
Your investment in Famille Oksen should help us scale-up our production so we can then expand the local market as well as exporting to the UK, other parts of Europe, and North America. Even with increased production, we intend to hold true to the traditions of handmade spirits meaning quality will never be compromised. Our aim is to have our rums always presented from the Top Shelf, appealing to those who value and appreciate something a bit special and unique.
Our ambition is to be recognised as the producers of the best artisan spiced rum available across the globe. We believe that the experience enjoyed by other boutique spirits indicates there is a significant gap in the market for artisanal products catering to lifestyle-conscious consumers.
We feel that mass-market spiced rums fail to deliver on the implied taste promise, are often laden with additives and rely on mixers to deliver an acceptable drink experience. We want to shake things up by showing consumers that they can enjoy a full-flavoured rum, infused with real spices, and that they don’t have to suffer bland and additive-heavy mass produced spirits.
Spiced rum is not well known in France and consumption of spirits locally is behind the consumption of wine and beer. We intend to change that. Our rums can already be found in local retailers such as Metro Cash & Carry and later this year we intend to expand nationally across France as our new French distribution relationship comes into effect.
Substantial accomplishments to date
• Famille Oksen started small-scale making handcrafted spice-farm 1973.
• Incorporated in order to commercialise 2011.
• First test production 2012.
• Our rums featured at the World Best Sommelier Tasting chaired by Paolo Basso 2013.
• Franck left his then employer to work full time in the Oksen Famille business 2013.
• First relationship with French distributor 2013.
• Won Gold Medal for Cinnamon Spiced Rum at International Rum Conference, Madrid, 2014.
• Won Silver Medal for Vanilla Spiced Rum at International Rum Conference, Madrid, 2014.
• First investment round, €40,000 raised through 4 private investors 2015.
• Introduced new labelling 2015.
• Signed with second French distributor 2015.
• Agreement reached to stock at Metro Cash and Carry 2016.
• Agreement reached to stock with www.vente-prive.com 2017.
• Signed with third French distributor, Unchained Wines and Spirits, 2017.
We craft our rums from base spirit, produced by a local independent distillery. The spirit is then infused with spices according to our own, secret, handmade recipes. Currently we sell our rums across France via distributors and direct to cellars and retail outlets.
Reflecting the nature of our premium product, we make a typical margin of 45% above cost of manufacture. In the first instance our ambition is to increase sales volume by improved penetration in the local market.
We believe significant growth opportunity is presented by expansion into offshore markets, especially the UK which is enjoying a creative explosion of boutique spirits. We also plan to move into other European markets as well as the USA, the latter being the second largest market for spirits. In due course we will consider pursuing China, the largest international spirits market.
Increased production offers economy of scale benefits which we expect to reflect in improved sales margins arising from cost base improvement.
Use of proceeds
Brand and market development will be our major focus. Activities should include:
• scaling up our local French sales and marketing capability.
• building local teams in the UK, Germany, and USA.
• refreshing labelling and other brand iconography.
• design and development of point of sale, display, and packaging options.
• development and delivery of a comprehensive marketing strategy including multi-channel advertising.
This class of spirit is relatively unknown in France and we believe this provides us with a pioneering opportunity and while we do not underestimate the scale of this challenge we are confident the the growing demand for ultra-premium spirits will successfully underpin our ambitions.
We also intend to address plant and equipment requirements to support increased demand.
• Staffing 15 %
• Marketing, packaging and advertising 7 %
• Point of sale and trade fair 17 %
• Plant, equipment, logistics 13 %
• Stock 48 %
The company currently has a €22,000 shareholder loan outstanding. Funds raised will not be used to repay the loan.
Our market demographic is the aged 30+ spirits drinker, whose demand for enjoyment of rum has, to our knowledge, developed beyond the experience delivered by the traditional supermarket-shelf rums. Our customer values the experience provided by a handmade artisanal spiced rum and also appreciates the health considerations of moderation. They prefer to avoid unnatural additives and they don’t judge on best price per litre.
Our route to market should focus on access to our demographic via wholesale distribution channels although we intend to continue to expand our direct relationships with major retail networks. Internationally we will pursue relationships with distributors and re-sellers who favour boutique, independent, and unique offerings similar to those already paved out such as Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
We are considering exploring the luxury hospitality sector with a view to direct supply, potentially offering some level of exclusivity, into up-market hotels and cocktail bars.
Characteristics of target market
The global spirits market is expected to exceed 3.2bn cases by 2020, an increase of 122m nine-litre cases from 2014. Whiskey, Vodka, Gin and Tequila are at the forefront of this growth but we believe this provides us with the opportunity to pioneer, develop, and own a unique market positioning with our range of handcrafted spiced rums.
Nevertheless the spiced rum market is already significant with over 150 million bottles sold per year.
The size of the spirits market in the UK is £5.8bn with a population 66 million. By comparison France is €4.7bn with a population 67 million. Germany is still the first spirits european market with c.700 millions bottles sold in 2015. Spirits US markets is still growing. The global consumption of rum reached c.1.7bn bottles in 2015.
The Premiumisation strategy of lots of brand responds to consumers' desire to "drink less, but drink better". We think this trend is getting stronger in the spirits industries and we feel we are more closely aligned with this market trend.
We intend to reach our market by a combination of intensive digital channel advertising coupled with the the physical development of relationships with key wholesale distribution networks.
We feel sure that presence in traditional retail outlets is one of the major tools in expanding brand awareness. So as we develop wholesale relationships we intend to work in close partnership to actively promote our rums which we will support through our social media activity. We have observed that much of our consumer demographic is highly active on the usual digital channels as well as responsive to more traditional access points such a tv and cinema advertising.
We aim to build a sales team responsible for exploring and developing commercial relationships with both national and international distribution networks. Either internally, or externally as appropriate, we also intend to explore relationships with the trade press where editorial and general exposure should benefit development of those commercial relationships.
We have two areas of key competitive advantage, provenance and ultra-premium quality. To the best of our knowledge we were one of the first producers of artisanal spiced rum in the world.
As evidenced by other quality spirits such as Tito’s Handmade Vodka, there is market demand for spirits free of artificial colouring and additives. Our additive and artificial colouring free recipe, coupled with our handcrafted methods of production mean we can genuinely claim our Artisanal Spiced Rums as being ultra-premium.
Being a family business with full control over the entire supply chain we believe we have the inherent ability to innovate quickly. Accordingly we can research and launch new products, i.e. new infusions, in a relatively short time frame.
Whiskey, Gin, Tequila and more recently Vodka have until now led the way in the growth of premium spirits. We believe the time is right for ultra-premium spiced rum to take its place, giving connoisseurs around the world the opportunity to relax with an Oksen.
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