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WSTA predicts rum sales to have smashed £1bn barrier

Published:  02 January, 2018

UK rum sales are predicted to have broken the £1bn barrier at the end of last year for the first time.

With Christmas sales taken into account, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said it expected rum to have exceeded the £1bn sales mark by the end of 2017, with Brits’ thirst for the tipple continuing to soar.

Up to September last year, total UK rum sales reached £991m – a 5% increase on the same period the previous year, and the equivalent of 34.3 million bottles sold across the on and off-trade, according to the latest WSTA market report.

In the last five years, UK rum sales have increased 18% by volume and 38% by value, said WSTA.

Sales had been boosted by the trend for craft cocktails and the increasing number of brands available, said Miles Beale, WSTA chief executive.

“Rum has packed a punch in terms of sales this year and we are pleased to see a rapid growth in the number of distilleries in the UK which has enabled our innovative spirit makers to expand their ranges with many introducing a rum into their portfolio,” he said.

In turn, this had led to more and more rum bars emerging and established bars stocking a greater range of rums behind the bar, he added.

Since 2006, rum brands available in the UK market have grown from around 50 to more than 150, according to WSTA.

The number of newcomers showed that curiosity in new and different brands was not confined only to gin, which broke the £1bn barrier in 2016, said Beale.

According to the report, £76m worth of rum was sold in the off-trade in the 12 weeks to 9th September 2017 £76 million – a 6% increase, with on-trade sales up 9% to compared to the same 12 weeks in 2016.

The promising sales data comes just weeks before the next Think Rum event which, supported by Harpers Wine & Spirit and Drinks Retailing News, takes place in London on Tuesday January 30, 2018.

Once again, the much anticipated event will kick off the New Year with a day of debates, tastings and presentations to delve deeper into this incredibly versatile and increasingly popular category.

Register here: