Croatian hard liquor producers Maraska have been forced by EU regulators to change the name of their domestic rum and brandy. The company, based in the Dalmatian town of Zadar, were told that they could no longer sell their “Domaći rum“ (Domestic rum) or “Domaći brandy“ (Domestic brandy) on the shelves once Croatia joined the EU at the start of last month, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.
Maraska’s marketing team quickly had to come up with alternatives – Domaći rum has become Room and Domaći brandy is now Bratsky. By joining the EU we had to adopt to regulations. The visual identity of both drinks remains the same. In looking for new names we wanted the names to sound the same but be different. That is how we came up with ‘Room’, which when spoken, sounds like rum,” said Maraska’s marketing manager Igor Županić , adding that shoppers have reacted well with no drop in sales recorded thus far.
Županić says that real rum in not produced in Europe and is done exclusively in the Caribbean, Martinique and Cuba, from sugar cane, with European legislators very precise in this regard and they all have had to adapt to it. It is a similar story with brandy. “Nobody stops you producing brandy in Croatia produce, but the rules say that it must be from 55-60 percent of wine distillate, and in Croatian versions of local brandy, wine distillate share is only around 30 percent, the rest is alcohol.