WITH the rise of cocktail culture and interest in spirits continuing to grow, it’s an exciting time to be selling rum.
And by upping the emphasis on the category and focusing on delivering quality serves, drinks firms say there’s plenty of scope to boost sales in Scotland’s bars and pubs.
Diageo GB, the firm behind the Captain Morgan rum brand, said the category is “on fire” in the UK on-trade at the moment and is “responsible for 21% of the spirits category value growth”.
Rhys Love, senior brand manager for Captain Morgan, said golden rum in particular should be viewed as a spirit in the ascendency.
“Now the biggest sub-category within rum, golden rum is worth £217 million to the [UK] on-trade, according to the latest CGA data,” said Love.
“The golden rum sub-category continues to go from strength to strength, having grown in value by 11%.”
Aurore Deligny of Campari UK, the firm behind Jamaican rum brand Appleton Estate, agreed that rum is proving popular and suggested that premium rums in particular are on the way up in the on-trade.
“Nowadays, consumers are looking for authenticity from their choice in a brand,” said Deligny.
“Nearly half of rum drinkers drink other premium spirits, but not premium rum, so the potential pool of new consumers is large.”
Deligny suggested that most customers visiting the on-trade are “becoming more aware of rum brands and what they like so it’s important to make sure you have a range to offer”.
When it comes to ranging, Tomasz Pawelek of Top Spirits said publicans should focus on both the flavour profiles of each spirit “along with rums from different countries and islands”.
Stocking a broad range of rums is important, but Pawelek also said publicans should ensure each bottle on the back-bar is there for a reason.
“Make sure that every rum has a different purpose and use whether it is in a cocktail or simply as a spirit and mixer,” he said.
With the right range in place, the next step for the bartender is pitching it to the customer; and Ian Baines of William Grant & Sons UK, the firm behind Sailor Jerry, reckons publicans can take advantage of the spirit’s historical roots.
“Strong events and activations that can build on the history and story of rum will drive consumer engagement and excitement,” said Baines.
Sailor Jerry UK Ambassador Emmali Stenhouse agreed, and advised operators and bar staff to draw attention to their rum offer.
“Rum is a social drink, all about enjoyment, fun and spending time with friends, which is why punches and sharers work really well,” said Stenhouse.
“Any of our Sailor Jerry cocktails can be adapted into sharing serves by multiplying the recipe accordingly, which is one of the reasons we sometimes use ‘parts’ instead of exact measurements.”