Rum’s popularity continues to grow

Sales of rum continue to rise in the UK, with almost 35 million bottles sold last year, amounting to more than £1 billion.

Total UK spirit sales last year were worth just over £11 billion, with rum the standout performer alongside gin, as Brits’ thirst for new and exciting craft spirits shows no sign of slowing down, according to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

The association’s latest market report shows that both the white rum and flavoured and spiced rum categories were worth £137 million last year.

Sales of golden and dark rum in pubs, bars and restaurants were up in 2018, with golden rum the most popular choice for drinkers. Sales of golden rum were worth £374 million, an increase of 7% on the previous year.

The latest increase in sales attests to the growing appetite in the UK for rum and the increasing number of brands on the market. In 2006, there were around 50 rum brands on the UK market, but now that number is approaching 200, underlining that UK drinkers’ desire to experiment new and different spirits brands is not confined to gin.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale (pictured) said: “It’s 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 that the craft spirits boom can continue, and British drinkers can continue to enjoy experimenting with their drinks choices.”