After Christmas sales are taken into account, it is expected value sales of rum will rise above £1bn for last year, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA). That is the equivalent of 34.3m bottles sold in pubs, bars, restaurants and shops.
Rum sales have increased by 18% in volume and 38% in value terms in the past five years, WSTA figures show.
The sales increase is indicative of an uptick on consumer interest in rum, which is also driving the number of brands available on the market.
Interest in rum
For instance, in 2006, there were 50 rum brands on sale in the UK, whereas there are now more than 150.
Rum and cocktail category development manager Peter Thornton at Cellar Trends said: “2017 has been a very good year for rum in the UK with consumer interest continuing to grow, and an extremely busy one for Cellar Trends with our varied portfolio.
“All the signs seem to suggest rum will continue to prosper in 2018 as the number of rums brands, and styles increases further.”
In the on-trade, golden rum grew the most with sales up 14% on 2016 to £76m, WSTA stats showed.
'Packed a punch'
Flavoured and spiced rum sales in shops has grown the most, up 14% in value and volume terms for the 12 months to September 2017 – selling 9.2m bottles, worth £123m.
WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “Rum has packed a punch in terms of sales this year benefiting from the nation’s thirst for craft cocktails.
“We are pleased to see a rapid growth in the number of distilleries in the UK, which has enabled our innovative spirit makers to expand their ranges with many introducing a rum into their portfolios.
“In turn, this has led to more and more rum bars emerging and established bars stocking a greater range of rums behind the bar.”