UK rum sales top £1 billion
Sales of rum in the UK surpassed £1 billion (US$1.3bn) in 2018 after almost 35 million bottles were sold, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
The WSTA had previously predicted that rum sales would hit the £1 billion mark after Christmas sales were taken into account.
In the trade body’s latest Market Report, total spirits sales in the UK reached £11 billion (US$14.3bn) in 2018.
The figures found white rum to be the most popular rum style in the off-trade, and that sales of flavoured and spiced rums grew to almost 10 million bottles, worth £137m (US$138m).
The WSTA is predicting that by the end of 2019, flavoured and spiced rums will knock white rum off the top spot as the most popular style in the off-trade.
Sales of golden and dark rum in pubs, bars and restaurants were also up, with golden rum sales worth £374m (US$486m) – an increase of 7% on last year.
Alongside growing sales, the UK has also seen a sharp rise in the number of rum brands on the market. In 2006, there were around 50 rum brands available in the UK, but now that number is approaching 200.
Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, 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.”