More than 9,800 people have signed up to the Facebook group “Petition against Sailor Jerry’s new recipe” since it was created on February 23.
Campaigners claim the new drink, which contains subtler vanilla and lime flavours than the original, makes Sailor Jerry identical to other spiced rums on the market and are calling on First Drinks to change the taste back.
One Facebook user posted on the group’s site: “Sailor Jerry tastes like any other gold rum now – plain, cheap and lifeless. I wouldn’t drink it if it was being handed out free.”?Another added: “There’s a reason people liked Sailor Jerry, because it was unique. Now it’s lost that edge.” First Drinks insisted the new flavour had been well received in taste tests and said it wouldn’t give in to the group’s demands.
James Stocker, marketing controller for dark spirits, said: “Consumers and bartenders with whom we researched the product, approved of its improved versatility in a wider range of serves.”?Stocker added that First Drinks will be giving consumers the chance to try samples of the new liquid at regional music events during April and May, in a bid to “demonstrate first hand the benefits of the versatility of the new Sailor Jerry Spiced”.
“While the new Sailor Jerry Spiced is being introduced, we are responding to enquiries and engaging with Emmali Stenhouse, our brand ambassador, on social networking sites. We are also running an upweighted programme of marketing support to engage customers,” he said.