Rum sales poised to break £1bn barrier

Rum sales poised to break £1bn barrier
Credit: Brent Hofacker

The craft cocktail craze has elevated rum sales to record levels as the latest Spirits Report from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTW) shows.

If this current trajectory continues, rum is expected to break the £1 billion sales barrier later this year.

This follows the booming gin category which topped £1 billion in sales last year – as well as beating export records.

The annual Spirits Report compiles all spirit sales from last year.

Latest rum sales stats show that in 2016, Brits bought almost 34 million bottles of rum worth £960 million.

This is 5% more, in volume, sold in supermarkets and shops compared to the previous year, and 6% more than last year in pubs, bars and restaurants.

In the last 5 years UK rum has seen sales increase 15% by volume and 32% by value.

The latest increase attests to the growing appetite in the UK for rum and the increasing number of brands on the market.

In 2006, there were around 50 rum brands on the UK market, which has now increased to over 150 in 2016, showing that curiosity in new and different brands is not only confined to gin.

Growth can also be attributed to the fact that Tiki bars, serving exotic tropical-themed rum based cocktails such as mai tai and zombies, are seeing a revival.

Though gin tops the table in terms of growth, rum sold more by volume in pubs, bars and restaurants in 2016.

The growing variety in the rum sector ensures the spirit is well placed to continue to feature prominently behind the bar in the future.

Total spirit sales last year amounted to more than £10 billion with nearly half of UK drinkers – around 24 million people – choosing to drink spirits, up 8% on 2015.