New data released from CGA by Nielsen IQ reveals that rum sales in the UK have surpassed the £1bn mark, and in the last quarter alone, sales are up 51% on 2019, taking a 13% of the overall spirits category. This means that rum now has a bigger share of the market than whisky.
Although rum still falls behind vodka, gin, and other speciality spirits, this notable growth is being driven by a growing interest from younger consumers, and according to the Nielsen IQ data, almost half of the market is made up of people aged 18 to 34.
CGA’s breakdown of sales shows the fast-growing popularity of flavoured and spiced varieties, which took 60% of the rum market in the last quarter—up by 11 percentage points on 2019. They stole share from white and dark rums, though these grew sales too—as did golden rum, whose share remained steady.
There has also been a sharp increase in interest in premium rums, which grew sales by 85% and accounted for 33% of the market in the last quarter—six percentage points more than in 2019. While standard rums lost share, their sales were up as well, by 39%.
“We’ve been predicting growth in the rum category for some time now, but its performance since the end of Covid-19 restrictions has been phenomenal,” said CGA client director Paul Bolton in a statement.
“Rum’s versatility in cocktails and the explosion of new flavours have both helped to pull in new drinkers, and the successful positioning of premium brands has encouraged a lot of people to trade up from mainstream options.”
“With so many taste profiles and cocktails to explore, and such a young demographic embracing them, there is still a lot of headroom for growth.
“Understanding consumers’ evolving rum preferences and educating them about the category will help suppliers to optimise brand engagement and keep sales on its upward trajectory.”