Spiced and gold at heart of rum boost

Sub-categories the driving force behind growth, report says

• The mixer is an essential part of a rum offer as 95% of consumers claim to drink it in this way.

THE rum category is on the rise, with young drinkers in Scotland and the north of England driving growth in the UK on-trade, according to the latest market report from drinks firm William Grant & Sons UK.

Quoting statistics from data firm CGA Strategy, William Grant – whose portfolio includes OVD rum and Sailor Jerry – reported an increase in rum sales of 3.8%, bringing the category’s value to £493 million.

Rum is worth £493m to the UK on-trade, up 3.9%.

As the two largest regions for rum in the UK on-trade, Scotland and the north of England are a driving force behind rum’s improving fortunes, with each accounting for 21.4% of all serves, according to CGA.
The spiced and flavoured rum category continues to be the big winner with an ongoing surge in popularity that has seen value sales almost double in the last two years, contributing an additional £50m to the category.
Spiced/flavoured rum’s market penetration is on the up too, with over 63,000 UK outlets now stocking flavoured/spiced rum brands, an increase of 20,000 outlets in the last two years.
And the sub-category’s popularity is driving overall rum growth, according to William Grant & Sons UK. Up 15.9% on last year, spiced/flavoured rum is now worth £129m.
It was suggested this increase in popularity could be attributed to the sub category’s popularity with younger drinkers.
According to the William Grant & Sons report, both spiced/flavoured and golden rums are “hugely popular” among younger audiences, with 43% of the consumers drinking these spirits aged under 35.
Roy Summers, director for the on-trade at William Grant & Sons UK, said rum is now more popular with a broader demographic of consumers than in the past.
“In the past, dark, spiced and golden rum has been favoured by older male drinkers in Scotland,” he said.

76% of consumers have tried rum as part of a cocktail.

“Over recent years, this has changed with brands like Sailor Jerry breaking through to a younger and more evenly split gender following, with its sweeter flavour profile meeting consumer tastes.”
The report also touched on how spirits are being sold in the trade, and highlighted the importance of mixed drinks to the rum category.
Cocktails continue to be vital to rum, with 67% of consumers claiming to have tried rum as part of a cocktail, while 95% of consumers claim to drink rum with a mixer.