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Rum sales reach £1bn to overtake whisky

Sales of rum have surpassed £1 billion (US$1.2bn) a year in the UK, meaning it now accounts for a bigger market share than whisky.

Rum has overtaken whisky’s market share in the spirits category

Data from CGA by Nielsen IQ shows that in the 12 months to July 2022, total rum sales amounted to £1bn giving rum a 13% share of the overall spirits category.

Rum’s growth was attributed to ‘surging interest from younger consumers’, according to the Nielsen IQ data.

“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.

“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.”

Market research company CGA also reported that rum figures for the latest quarter showed sales have leapt by 51% compared with the same three-month period in 2019.

Flavoured and spiced rums took a larger share than white and dark rums, too: 60% of the cane-based spirit category is taken up by these bottlings.

White, dark and golden rums grew in sales all the same.

Premium rums saw a sales increase of 85% in the last quarter, and accounted for 33% of the market.

Bolton added: “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.”

Nearly half (48%) of rum drinkers were found to be aged 18 to 34, the research also revealed, which is four percentage points higher than a year ago.

Want to keep an eye on the expanding category? We rounded up 10 award-winning rums and cachaças from our blind-tasting competition earlier this year.

Plus, earlier this month, The Spirits Business team got together to list their favourite rum brands on the market.

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