Slowing gin market to boost rum growth

28th October, 2019 by Melita Kiely

Rum is primed to benefit from the “slowing” gin market following “impressive” sales from 2017 to 2018, according to analyst Global Data.

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Rum sales are growing faster than gin, according to Global Data

Rum recorded 7.5% global growth between 2017 and 2018, according to Global Data, while gin reported a 3.8% annual growth rate.

Matthew Coates, consumer analyst at Global Data, said: “Sales of rum reached over £1 billion in 2018, around one year behind gin.

“Currently, white rum is the most popular but the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) predicts that spiced and flavoured rum categories will become the leading product type for consumers by the end of 2019.

“The growth is driven by consumer demand for craft spirits, similar to the growth seen in craft beer over the past decade. In 2006, around 50 rum brands were available to the British public, compared to nearly 200 in 2019.”

Global Data noted that interest in gin has been aided by the growing popularity of certain cocktails and a growing number of new distilleries.

However, it warned that rum would have more challenges compared to gin due to the lengthy ageing process and “greater difficulty involved in producing varieties”.

Coates said that innovation within the rum category was helping to position rum as a premium luxury spirit.

“These shifts within this category are repositioning rum from being a cheap party drink or sailor’s favourite to a premium luxury spirit,” Coates added. “Rum is entering an exciting and diverse production era to be explored by consumers and manufacturers alike.”

In September, retailer The Whisky Exchange revealed its rum sales grew by 165% over the previous three months, marking the first summer in five years the spirit had seen higher growth than gin.

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