Named after the famous 17th century buccaneer Sir Henry Morgan, Captain Morgan since its launch in the United States in 1984 has firmly positioned itself as a leading global spirits brand.
The business was founded in 1944 targeting the traditional naval market for dark rum. The original product was produced in pot stills and was typically enjoyed with lime juice. The first extension of Captain Morgan's product line occurred with introduction of white rum in the early 1950s targeted to satisfy the changing tastes of consumers - particularly the growth of mixing rum and cola.
For the first 40 years of its history, the majority of Captain Morgan sales occurred in Canada, United Kingdon and South Africa. This changed in 1984 when the brand was introduced into the US market with a new product - Spiced Rum. The release coincided with an extensive marketing campaign throughout the United States to educated consumers regarding the new product.
This successful marketing drive continued in 1995 (which in 2001 became a global program) with the introduction of the 'The Captain was Here' campaign. Designed to emphasize the mischievous qualities of Captain Morgan and his rum, the marketing contributed to Diageo shipping over 1 million cases of Captain Morgan in the US market during 1996.
The success in the US marketed prompted Diageo (Captain Morgan's parent company) to diversify its product line. In 1996 Captain Morgan Private Stock was introduced as a ultra-premium sipping rum. The sales line was further expanded in 1997 with the release of Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay Coconut. Parrot Bay has since added Mango, Pineapple and Passionfruit to its lineup.
To counter to continuing growth in market share of Jägermeister in 2004 Captain Morgan introduced Tattoo to the brand line-up.
Captain Morgan is currently the fourth largest spirit brand in the US and the eleventh largest world wide.