FROM the tried and tested ‘rum and Coke’ to cocktail staples like the Daiquiri, Mai Tai and Mojito, rum has long been one of the on-trade’s heavy hitters.
And the spirit remains in rude health in pubs and bars, according to figures from William Grant & Sons, whose rum brands include Sailor Jerry, OVD and Wood’s. The latest edition of the Scottish drinks firm’s market report found the four key rum categories – white, spiced, dark and golden – to be performing well across the on-trade.
White rum continues to account for the largest share of on-trade rum sales, fronted by Bacardi Carta Blanca, with the spiced category in second place, led by Diageo-owned Captain Morgan. In total, white rum was said to be worth £206 million across the UK on-trade, with spiced and flavoured rums not far behind at £196m.
This chimes with figures supplied to SLTN last year by research firm CGA Strategy.
The research identified Captain Morgan’s Spiced as the biggest-selling spirits brand in the Scottish on-trade, with Bacardi also commanding a place in the top 20.
The revenues are only part of the picture when it comes to the rum category in the on-trade, however.
According to the William Grant report, rum is a unisex drink, with white rum having a slight female bias and dark and golden rums skewing slightly more towards men.
It also enjoys a younger customer base than some of the other spirits categories, with more than half of rum drinkers aged under 45.
And rum consumers were said to be big spenders, with 55% visiting the on-trade weekly and spending, on average, £5 more per visit than the average spirit drinker.
Clearly, it’s important for licensees to get their rum offer right.
Brandon Lieb of Atlantico Rum, a Dominican brand distributed in the UK by Ian Macleod Distillers, said the key is to stock a variety of styles.
“White rum, spiced rum, and aged rums are all very unique,” said Lieb.
“And within these categories, French, Spanish and English styles provide a very wide range of flavour profiles for [outlets] to carry. Ideally [a bar] would stock at least one [rum] in each of these styles.
“Learning the differences in styles and flavour profiles will allow [outlets] to tailor recommendations and serves to their clientele.”