Top 10 biggest-selling rum brands
The future appears to be a bright one for the rum category, thanks to continued premiumisation. But which million-case brands reached new heights in 2021?
In 2021, only a handful of brands were able to offset the effects of international lockdowns and economic turmoil as a result of Covid-19. This year, the category is considered to be one to watch by industry experts and drinkers alike.
With premiumisation a firm goal of some distillers, brands are looking to improve the quality of their liquids, a move paying off as consumers turn to bottlings to mix and sip straight.
On a global basis, the sector’s total volume sales leapt by 10% to 150.6 million cases in 2021, up from 136.9m, according to Euromonitor International.
Scroll below to discover the top 10 best-selling rum brands, listed in order of their nine-litre case sales.
This list has been compiled as part of The Spirits Business‘s Brand Champions 2022 report, available to view here.
Data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied to The Brand Champions 2022.
10. Old Port Rum
% change: -32.3%
Place last year: 7
Amrut Distillers-owned Old Port has been in steady decline since 2019, a year in which the Indian brand posted case sales of 2.1m. Since then, the brand has struggled to claw its way further up the Brand Champions’ score board.
But it wasn’t all misery for Amrut Distillers. The company’s Silver Cup Brandy achieved the title of fastest-growing spirit of 2021 in our Brand Champions report.
9. Appleton Estate (including J Wray & Nephew)
% change: 10.0%
Place last year: 10
Campari Group-owned Jamaican rum brand Appleton Estate (including J Wray & Nephew) recorded a 10% increase in 2021, returning to its pre-pandemic levels.
2022 has already been an active year for Appleton Estate and its recent activity could help the brand continue its upward trajectory.
In January, Appleton Estate honoured the 40-year anniversary of master blender Joy Spence with The Ruby Anniversary Edition (pictured). Plus, Spence spoke to The Spirits Business on becoming the first woman to become a master blender in the spirits sector.
% change: 18.3%
Place last year: 11
Radico Khaitan-owned Contessa has jumped up three places on our best-selling rum list, with an impressive 18.3% boost in case sales.
The hike up in sales is a relief for Contessa, which has seen six continuous years of decline before this.
Radico Khaitan’s vodka, Magic Moments, bagged ninth place in our round-up of biggest-selling vodka brands, after recording 3.7m case sales in 2021.
% change: 19.2%
Place last year: 8
Stock Spirits Group’s Božkov grew an impressive 19.2% in 2021, after a -26.2% decline in 2020. However, it has a way to go to reach Barceló, ranked 6th on our list – it would have to bag one million more case sales to be on equal footing.
% change: 15.9%
Place last year: 6
Ron Barceló’s namesake rum also had a successful year in 2021, but maintained its sixth place on the Brand Champions’ ranking table.
We caught up with the global marketing director for Dominican the rum brand, Chiara Pennacchio, who acknowledged that Barceló’s rums “are a part of this trend” of premiumisation.
Ron Barceló is known for its commitment to sustainability too – the future is hopefully a green one for the brand, which may just see it climb up the rankings in the Brand Champions round-up.
5. Havana Club
% change: 4.6%
Place last year: 5
In 2020, the esteemed Cuban rum brand fared a 10% drop in case sales. However, it seems to have got back on track with a 4.6% boost, posting 4.3m case sales.
Pernod Ricard-owned Havana Club has had an extremely busy 12 months too – it has collaborated with British musician Skepta, Spanish DJ Bad Gyal, and French rapper Frenna. It also launched its inaugural Party Makers competition, revealing the winner earlier this year.
The brand has remained in fifth position, but with activity like this, it might not be long before Havana Club secures a higher spot in the future.
4. McDowell’s No. 1 Rum
% change: 3.4%
Place last year: 4
United Spirits’ McDowell’s dropped a staggering 24.7% in case sales in 2020, falling 10.8m to 8.1 case sales. While the Indian rum brand hasn’t quite reached the double-digit figures in sales yet, its ability to get back on top with a 3.4% jump in sales last year is impressive.
The McDowell’s range also consists of an Indian whisky and a brandy.
3. Captain Morgan
% change: 6.6%
Place last year: 3
Captain Morgan is the only rum brand to be representing Diageo this year, as Kenya Cane rum was bumped off the Brand Champion’s ranking in 2022.
Perhaps the brand’s 6.6% growth can be accredited to its introduction of ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails to the market – Captain’s Cocktails.
The spiced rum brand has seen nothing but growth in recent years, but has sat in third place in both 2020 and 2021. The brand is still a long way from its nearest competitor Bacardí.
% change: 14.3%
Place last year: 2
This year’s Rum Brand Champion is Bacardí, a brand which claims to have seen most of its growth from its “iconic white rum” Bacardí Carta Blanca, according to Ned Duggan, global senior vice-president for the brand.
The brand’s activity in flavoured rum helped to drive growth, including its Limón bottling, Mango Chile expression in Mexico and its Tropical iteration, which launched in the US last year.
Bacardí also continued to push its ready-to-drink (RTD) range, Real Rum Canned Cocktails, adding flavours including Mojito and Sunset Punch to the line-up in 2021.
% change: -0.8%
Place last year: 1
In 2021, Tanduay was one of the only rum brands to experience a leap in case-sales, but time since has not been so kind to the brand. Declining ever so slightly in its case sales, the 2021 Brand Champion still managed to bank the most case sales, with 23.7m sold.
The Philippine rum brand could be overtaken by Bacardí in the future if it continues to decline, with 1.7m cases between them.