By Jose Hoffmann
1. Who is Alexandra Alfaro?
I am a passionate marketeer & brand strategist. What moves me the most is driving value behind brands – whereas it is through an integral (re)positioning strategy, powerful communication, 360 execution or an innovation.
I began my career in marketing the soft drinks industry over 20 years ago in my native country El Salvador. During that time, growing interest in beverage companies in the Central American region brought international players into the arena. Hence, my career in the beer industry with SABMiller began, spanning over 15 years and taking me from El Salvador to Panama. I was first introduced to the passionate and inspiring world of Rum in 2016, when I joined Varela Hermanos in Panama and managed Ron Abuelo, among other brands, on a global level. In 2020, on the verge of the global Covid pandemic outbreak, I joined Guatemalan Spirits as Corporate Marketing Director, now based in Guatemala. Our international Rum brand portfolio includes Ron Botran, our leading Rontastic Rum, as well as Ron Colonial (Miracielo) and of course, Ron Zacapa, co-owned with Diageo.
2. What does the rum mean to you? What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?
The world of rum is a world built from tradition and passion, but never remaining the same. This is, in a nutshell, what Rum means to me. An industry that honors and respects its heritage, but also allows itself to go further, to innovate, to have fun while creating. This is also what made me fall in love with Rum.
If I have to pinpoint a day when this love story began, I can honestly say it was the first day I stepped into a rum aging bodega. Entering a Rum aging bodega for the first time and inhaling the aromas that emanate from the barrels where “the magic” is happening, was the moment when it all began.
3. Three essential characteristics that define rum according to your perspective.
Respect – For the industry´s roots, heritage & traditions.
Innovative – The industry does not sit still & continues innovating & creating.
Forward Thinking – Going beyond rum and putting matters like Sustainability & positive Environmental impact at the center of the industry.
4. Benefits that the rum industry has given you.
A fresh perspective on creation & innovation – and of course, many good friends all over the world.
5. What´s another thing you are passionate about, in addition to rum? Why?
It may sound cliché but I am passionate about travel. Studying abroad & living outside my home country since I was 16, shaped me as a person. Learning from different cultures and meeting people that were completely different from what I knew, enriched my personal essence in every way. Travelling is a way to continue fuelling my mind with my passion for encountering new and different points of view – plus continuously getting to meet new people makes life a lot more interesting.
6. What is your favorite place for drinking rum?
Surprisingly, not an idyllic white sand beach. I prefer to enjoy my rum over an amazing meal with loved ones. It enhances the moment in every possible way.
7. Why is it important to educate the rum consumer?
Rum can be many things. A delicious Piña Colada, a refreshing Mojito, a sophisticated Cocktail or a “digestivo” after a nice dinner with friends. In order for the rum consumer to know the key differences between everything rum can be, it is important to know why it can be so many things at once. Especially because the industry has evolved so rapidly over the last decade and we are seeing continued rum innovations all across the world.
8. Any tips to train the palate and taste a good premium rum?
For training the palate? Well, that one is easy: Always enjoy your premium rum neat or with a good quality ice cube. It is simply the most honest way to be able to appreciate and savour the liquid to the fullest.
9. Is the commitment to sustainable development the key of success for the permanence of the rum industry in the world? Why?
Sustainability is now at the core of our industry. In Guatemalan Spirits it is one of our core strategic pillars and at the center of our brand strategies. We don’t just produce Rum, we believe in building brands with purpose. Ron Botran is the world’s first sustainable Rum – from Crop to Drop. Guatemalan Spirits has just been certified Carbon Neutral – we self-mitigate our Carbon footprint as we produce enough oxygen to offset over 60,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to over 1,800,000 trees in 4,500 hectares of our own forests across Guatemala. This matters – And it is now central to consumers making brand choices all over the world about which Rum brand to enjoy.
10. What are your next goals in the rum industry?
Continue to strengthen our Guatemalan Rum portfolio & of course, our global presence. Ron Botran is now in 23 countries across the globe. So we still have the opportunity to expand its footprint and invite more Rum lovers to try our Rontastic no sugar -added signature Rum brand. Ron Colonial, or Miracielo as it is known internationally, is our artisanal rum with an Antigua Guatemala origin. It is successfully growing in adoption in Western Europe. We hope to introduce it to more markets within the next couple of years. We might also be thinking of bringing more brands to life, so stay tuned to new news from Guatemalan Spirits…
11. What is your advice for new generations in the rum industry?
Let yourself continue to be surprised by Rum. It is such a fun, versatile & innovative industry that learning and living it is an experience to look forward to on its own. Open your mind to enjoy it always with a fresh perspective.
12. How can people learn more about you? Website? Social media page?
Linked In profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandra-alfaro-de-molina-a59b4a69/
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