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The world’s biggest-selling rum brands

Rum seems to be on the verge of big things, but 2023 showed that the traditional heavy hitters aren’t having it all their own way just yet.

The top three best-selling rum brands remain unchanged from previous years

There’s been a lot said about rum’s resurgence in recent years. Consumers seem to be finally coming around to the sugar cane-based spirit, with premium expressions becoming fanciful and travel retail driving further interest.

According to Euromonitor International, the category’s volume was predicted to increase from 157.9 million nine-litre cases in 2022 to 164.9m in 2023, which was a greater positive swing than both vodka and Tequila. In addition, rum has made a real impression in Great Britain where it surpassed whisky in value in the on-trade, reaching £1.1 billion (US$1.4bn).

However, despite all the positive talk, many brands will be disappointed with how they performed last year, with many recording negative growth. A brand not in the top 10 became our 2024 Rum Brand Champion – 1965 Spirit of Victory, from Radico Khaitan. The Indian rum grew by 31.8% and eased past the 1m sales mark with 1.2m, after moving 900,000 cases in 2022. Sanjeev Banga, president of international business at Radico Khaitan, attributed its success to the rise of Indian spirits and the demand for premium products from the country.

Nevertheless, the top three best-selling rums remain unchanged from previous years – it remains a massive challenge for any other brand looking to unseat one of them.

Below, we count down the biggest rum brands by volume in 2023 from the companies who supplied data for The Brand Champions 2024 report, which is now available to read online.

All data has been listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes were calculated based on the full data supplied. All data is recorded in millions of nine-litre cases.

10. Kraken


2023: 1.2m

2022: 1.1m

% change: 2.0%

Place last year: N/A

With its highest number of cases sold in Brand Champions history, Kraken ranked in the top 10 for the first time with 1.3m in 2023.

The Proximo Spirits-owned spiced rum has become a consistent million-case-selling brand. It recently appeared across the UK with a Kraken installation, including one at London’s Leicester Square. Marketing moves such as this could push it even higher up the list for next year.

9. Contessa

2023: 1.3m

2022: 1.3m

% change: -3.1%

Place last year: 8

With 1.27 million nine-litre cases sold, it’s hard to call 2023 a bad year for Contessa, but 2023 marked the brand’s lowest volume sales since 2020, when it recorded 1.1m cases.

The Indian rum is still a long way from its pre-pandemic days, when at its peak it recorded 1.8m cases in 2017. Owner Radico Khaitan will be wondering how to turn the tide next year, so it doesn’t fall out of the top 10.

8. Božkov Tuzemsky

2023: 1.4m

2022: 1.3m

% change: 9.4%

Place last year: 9

A big round of applause for Božkov. Amid a sea of declines, the Stock Spirits Group-owned rum was one of only three brands in this year’s top 10 to post a positive percentage at 9.4%. Even more promising for the brand was that it bounced back immediately from a decline in 2022.

The target for next year? Perhaps a return to the 1.6m area that it achieved in 2019. After all, its owner Stock Spirits aims to become the leading company for mainstream spirits in Europe by 2027 – so why not?

7. Barceló

Ron Barcelo

2023: 2.1m

2022: 2.4m

% change: -11.9%

Place last year: 6

Ron Barceló’s namesake rum dipped a worrying 11.9% down to 2.1m in 2023 following two consecutive years at 2.4m cases.

From the Dominican Republic, the brand is the only rum produced from the fermentation and direct distillation of 100% Dominican sugarcane juice. Its global head of brand ambassadors Otto Flores said the brand is focusing on expanding to Asia, which might be key to getting it back on track.

6. Old Port Rum


2023: 2.1m

2022: 1.5m

% change: 42.0%

Place last year: 7

The biggest mover – and in the right direction – was Amrut Distiller’s Old Port Rum, with a monster 42% rise. The brand broke the 2m barrier for the first time since 2019 and even managed to exceed its 40.6% increase in 2022.

It was a year to remember for the brand, which also landed in eighth place on our fastest-growing spirits list for 2023.

5. Havana Club

Havana Club

2023: 3.8m

2022: 4.6m

% change: -15.8%

Place last year: 5

Alarm bells will be ringing for Pernod Ricard after Havana Club dropped below 4m cases for the first time since the inception of The Brand Champions.

The Cuban brand, however, has been pulling out all the stops to stop the rot with team-based bartending contests, modernising range refreshes and colourful new designs, covering both the on- and off-trade.

No doubt the US-Cuba trade embargo had a huge impact too, as CEO Christian Barré told us at the end of last year.

4. McDowell’s Rum

2023: 6.5m

2022: 8.8m

% change: -27.0%

Place last year: 4

Owned by Diageo’s Indian arm, United Spirits, poor old McDowell’s Rum saw the steepest decline out of any million-case-selling rum brand, at 27% – down from 8.8m to 6.5m.

Once upon a time – in 2019 – the brand was on the verge of 11m cases, and its performance now can only be described as in freefall. Still, it’s not all doom and gloom for McDowell’s – the company’s Indian whisky was once again the best-seller in that category.

3. Captain Morgan


2023: 12.1m

2022: 12.9m

% change: -6.5%

Place last year: 3

After flirting with 13m in 2022, last year Captain Morgan was closer to dipping under 12m with a 6.5% drop.

Its owner Diageo will be hoping that 2023 was a one-off; moves such as targeting the alcohol-free and RTD markets should help make sure of that. The chances of catching up to Bacardí remain slim – as it is still nearly 9m cases behind.

2. Bacardí

Bacardi rum range

2023: 20.6m

2022: 21.1m

% change: -2.3%

Place last year: 2

Like Captain Morgan below and Tanduay above, Bacardí experienced a drop – though just a small one at 2.3%.

The brand did manage to shift more than 20m cases for the second year running and moves such making pop star Camila Cabello the face of its latest campaign bode well for the future.

According to CEO Mahesh Madhaven, new product development is also on the agenda, especially with flavoured expressions, as is a focus on the on-trade. All said, 2024 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Bacardí.

1. Tanduay


2023: 23.4m

2022: 27.4m

% change: -14.7%

Place last year: 1

Once again, Tanduay reclaimed its throne as the biggest-selling rum brand, but perhaps not in the way it would have liked.

The Philippine brand’s 14.7% fall was concerning, but there still should be enough space between its nearest competitor Bacardí to remain in the top spot for next year. Its decline was the steepest out of any of the top 10 world’s biggest-selling spirits brands.

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