Rum sales now worth £1bn

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

On the up: rum sales in the on-trade are increasing
On the up: rum sales in the on-trade are increasing
Sales of rum are continuing to rise with almost 35m bottles sold worth more than £1bn in 2018, according to new figures.

Total spirit sales in the UK in 2018 were worth about £11bn, with rum driving continued growth along with gin, figures from the Wine & Spirits Trade Association (WSTA)’s latest Market Report​.

Sales of golden and dark rum in the on-trade were up, according to the report, with golden rum the most popular choice with drinkers. Sales of golden rum were worth £374m – a rise of 7% on the previous year.

The WSTA claimed the latest rise in sales attests to the growing appetite for rum and the increasing number of brands on the market.

Desire to experiment

In 2006, there were about 50 rum brands on the UK market but now that number is approaching 200, highlighting UK drinkers’ desire to experiment with new and exciting brands is not only confined to gin.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “It has been another great year for rum sales in the UK. British drinkers have more choice than ever before when it comes to rum.

“Craft spirits are ‘of the moment’ and an increasing number of artisanal spirits producers are crafting their own interpretations of the spirit often alongside their gin range.

“The decision by the Chancellor last autumn to freeze spirit duty was the right one and further supportive action is vital in 2019 to ensure the craft spirits boom can continue and British drinkers can enjoy experimenting with their drink choices.”

Accessible alternative

Drum & Black Rum Co co-founder Dan Buckland outlined how the consumer demand has changed for the spirit.

He said: “Consumers are becoming more adventurous with their beverage choices and the more exploration they do, the more knowledgeable they become.

“They are seeking brands that define them as individuals and the craft rum movement in the UK is showing more people that rum has the potential as the drink of choice.

“Until now, spiced rums have been associated with lower quality mixing spirits. However, if crafted as a premium sipping rum with an innovative flavour profile, spiced rum can be an accessible alternative for spirit drinkers with more refined tastes as well as a new, exciting luxury drink for those exploring rum.”

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