As the nation gears up to celebrate its 50th year of Independence, the country’s oldest company, J. Wray and Nephew Limited has re-packaged one of its premier products, signaling its continued dedication to nationhood.
The company launched the commemorative packaging for its White Overproof Rum on June 26, during a ceremony at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge and Conference Centre at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.
This is the second product that the 260-year old company has launched to celebrate the country’s Golden Jubilee, having earlier this month, unveiled the Jamaica Independence Reserve Rum, a premium rum aged 50 years, which is bottled under the Appleton Estate label.
Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who unveiled the ‘Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum Jamaica 50 Limited Edition’ package, praised the company.
She noted that not only is J. Wray and Nephew an integral part of the country’s heritage, but is one of the largest exporters in the Caribbean with its products going to over 68 countries around the world and selling 1.2 million cases a year.
The Youth Minister said there were some important lessons the country could learn from the company in its 50th year, “that of picking winners and investing in them, positioning your brand within markets that will have a demand for it, and how to beat the rest of the world in producing a quality product”.
“Tonight I say to the rest of the world, that as we celebrate 50 years of nationhood, the best is yet to come, and like rum, we only get better with age,” she stated.
Managing Director, J. Wray and Nephew Limited, Paul Henriques, said he was honoured that the white overproof rum has been named the official ‘Spirit of Jamaica 50’ and “we are grateful to the Government for recognising the importance of Wray and Nephew to the heritage and culture of the island”.
He said that white overproof rum is not just a drink, but rather “it infuses the culture of our island, and pours through different aspects of our lives as part of traditional medicine, ritual and everyday living.”
The Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum Jamaica 50 Limited Edition packaging includes three individual canisters – one black, one green, and one gold, representing the colours of the Jamaican flag. Each commemorative canister contains a 750 ml bottle of Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum.
“The commemorative package range also includes a Jamaica 50 branded two-bottle gift box and a re-designed Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum outer carton, which features the Jamaican flag,” Mr. Henriques informed.
A total of 12,000 cases of the commemorative canisters (36,000 bottles), and 25,000 two-bottle gift boxes have been produced and were available in retail and wholesale outlets as of June 27.
Mr. Henriques said the commemorative canisters will be available to Jamaican consumers at no extra charge. “It is a gift from J. Wray and Nephew Limited to our customers,” he said.
J. Wray and Nephew is also planning to release a 100-year-old rum for Jamaica's centenary celebration.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter