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Halewood acquires Dead Man’s Fingers as rum sales soar

Published:  06 February, 2018

Halewood Wines & Spirits has acquired spiced rum brand Dead Man’s Fingers for an undisclosed sum.

The small batch premium rum (rrp: £20), which joins Halewood’s Sixty-Six, Liverpool and Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Spiced Rum on shelf, is a blend of Caribbean rums featuring notes of saffron cake, sweet Pedro Ximenez sherry ice cream, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange.

The acquisition forms part of Halewood’s strides in the past few years to offer a range of products at various prices to the trade and consumers, and was in line with the company’s focus on “authenticity and quality of brands”, said group chief executive, Stewart Hainsworth.

“Our business strategy of investing in premium artisanal spirits is paying huge dividends,” he added.

Launched in 2015 by the founder of Cornish outlet the Rum & Crab Shack in St Ives, Neythan Hayes, Dead Man’s Fingers had achieved a cult following since launch, he said.

“While we have achieved success to date through a handful of on and off-trade listings, Halewood’s distribution structure will drive growth and allow more people to enjoy it as much as we do – this is what we’re really excited about.”

The deal follows news last month that UK rum sales were predicted to have broken the £1 billion barrier at the end of last year for the first time, boosted by the trend for craft cocktails and the increasing number of brands available.

With Christmas sales taken into account, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said it expected rum to have exceeded the £1 billion 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 £991 million – 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.