WOW..... We can't actually believe that it's been a whole year since we launched our flagship rum, Hygge Spiced Rum. Starting a drinks business from scratch has been like jumping off a cliff and trying to build an airplane on the fall down! A baptism of fire is an understatement!
The reason we founded Hygge rum was to create a spiced rum which is gimic free, no nautical themes and no sailors! Just good quality rum! In a nut shell we wanted to make a small batch artisan style rum which is available for everyone to enjoy.
A whole year later and I think we're actually starting to see progress with this journey but what's daunting is that we've hardly even scratched the surface with our full potential and our ambition for Hygge Rum!
So now our first year has passed and we're officially on the scene, let's run through some of the more notable points of the year and some challenges we faced.
#1 - SILVER - World Rum Awards - International Wine & Spirits Competition
Last November, just shortly after we launched, we entered the world rum awards completion and sent off our sample bottles to be judged. In all honestly, although we knew we had created something special to us we never thought that it would be awarded with an award right off the bat. However thats exactly what happened, we won a sliver award at the world rum awards in the traditional spiced category. With our confidence boosted we then entered the IWSC (International wine & spirits competition) and to our delight, we won another silver award with them too. Theres some fantastic and well know rums on the market at the minute and to be recognised in the same category as those other brands is overwhelming.
#2 - Reviews, feedback & fans
One of our ideas from the start was to forge a bond between us as producers and our fans as customers. Fundamentally, we're rum lovers and this is the whole point of us starting Hygge Rum, so we need to build relationships with our customer and fans on this basis. To act like a cooperate body or a figure head was never going to be enough for us, we like to engage with our fans online and on social media.
Every review that has been published, we have personally read. Its an obsession to search out our reviews even on other website but we need to hear what you guys, our fans, are saying. being rum enthusiasts, we're also involved and active in social media rum clubs. When we see other, and people we don't know recommending Hygge Spiced Rum or sharing pictures of their purchase, its overwhelming!
"This is hands down the nicest rum I've ever tasted. My go to was always Cut to the spice however this has topped the charts. The caramel smells delicious and it tastes phenomenal! I'm never usually a straight spirit drinker, however I could happily drink this neat. Well done, I hope Hygge reaches the millions!"
#3 - Super Super Market
One of the most penitent points of the past year has been having the privelige to pitch to two different leading super markets. Their feedback was both encouraging and also exhilarating, these pitches have given us an additional boost and allowed us to believe that we can work towards our aim of bringing Hygge Spiced Rum to a much larger audience. This gives consumers further choice away from the commercial and mainstream rums, typically at 35 - 37.5% abv. Having our Hygge spiced rum available in supermarkets would allow rum fans to have convenient access to a small batch, artisan style spiced rum at their convenience!
#4 - Wondering outside of our comfort zone
One thing we (slightly) underestimated when embarking on our rum journey was the marketing that was required to put of Hygge Spiced Rum in front of potential customers. Long gone have the days of social media post which create viral organic reaches, it's now all about engaging videos, podcasts, stories, reels, and interactive lives. Something that doesn't actually come natural to us, at the core we're probably happier outside of the lime light however the past year has seen us engage more on personal touches. We've taken part in Youtube, post casts and even on local radio.... although we're yet to crack prime time TV, who knows where our talents end!
#5 - That's Ours
One of the most bizarre feelings for us is when we're in a shop, or bar and you see Hygge Spiced Rum on the shelf or menu. Our idea and concept and everything we've imagined and worked so hard is there, next to other well known brands. Recently, whilst in a farm shop my daughters pointed out that they had Hygge behind the till. They had recognised the bottle and were ecstatic that its "ours". Until they left the shop, they waled around singing to each other "Hue-Guh, Hue-Guh, Hue-Guh" Now that is a strange feeling! We only hope that Hygge Rum become a household name is recognisable in all good shops....But that's our next journey