Based on recent industry reports, the rum category in the UK is the third largest rum market in the world. Premium and specifically spiced rum have enjoyed a phenomenal increase in value and sales, mainly driven by the current cocktail trend.
Gone are the days when a simple ‘Rum and Coke’ ruled the world. Today it’s all about premium and elaborate rum-based cocktails. Given these current trends in consumer spending, it is therefore no surprise to note that the premium rum category is where the growth is going to be.
Industry stats show premium-plus rums grew by 22% in volume and 17% in value in the UK between 2014 and 2019. The IWSR projects that growth will flatten out between 2021 and 2026 but still forecasts 4% growth in both volume and value over that timeframe.
This remarkable surge in the rum category in the UK has transformed it from a traditional ‘mixer’ spirit into a trendsetting and dynamic segment of the spirits industry.
With an expanding array of rum varieties, including white rum, spiced rum, and dark rum, increasing numbers of consumers are seeking unique and diverse drinking experiences. This shift can be attributed to various demographic profiles, each broadly with its own preferences and tastes.
White Rum – Embraced by the Millennial Mixologists
White rum, known for its purity and smoothness, has found a significant following among millennials, especially the adventurous mixologists of the new generation.
Millennials are known for their interest in craft spirits and creative mixology, and white rum fits perfectly into their preferences. They are attracted to its versatility as an excellent base for a wide range of cocktails. The simplicity of this rum appeals to their love for minimalism and clean flavours, making it a favourite in refreshing cocktails like Mojitos, Daiquiris, and Piña Coladas.
White rum enthusiasts value its lightness and ability to blend seamlessly with various ingredients, enabling them to experiment and craft innovative libations that reflect their individuality.
Spiced Rum: Captivating the Adventurous and Social Explorers
Spiced rum, with its warm and aromatic infusion of spices, has captured the attention of adventurous and social consumers. This segment consists of individuals who seek unique flavour experiences and enjoy exploring the world of spirits.
The blend of spices in spiced rum appeals to their desire for complexity and depth in their drinks. They are likely to appreciate the craftsmanship and creativity behind each bottle of spiced rum.
This consumer profile values the storytelling aspect of spirits and the opportunity to engage in conversations about the distinct spices used in the production process.
Spiced rum enthusiasts find delight in sipping this spirit neat or on the rocks, savouring the intricate flavours and allowing the spices to unfold in their palates.
Flavoured rum, characterized by its infusion of a single flavour such as fruits, spices, or other natural flavours, is capturing the interest of curious and playful consumers. This segment of the market seeks a spirit that introduces exciting and unconventional taste experiences.
Flavoured rums offer a delightful array of choices, from tropical with coconut, kiwi, mango and pineapple to more adventurous flavours such as caramel, coffee and chocolate. Consumers within this profile enjoy exploring this unique infusion of a singular element, experimenting with distinctive cocktails, and embracing the fun and light-hearted spirit of flavoured rum.
Dark Rum: – Embraced by the Connoisseurs and Mature Sippers
Dark rum, typically aged in barrels for extended periods, exudes richness, complexity, and depth, which attracts connoisseurs and discerning sippers.
This segment includes experienced rum enthusiasts and consumers seeking a more sophisticated and refined drinking experience.
The consumer profile for dark rum consists of individuals who enjoy exploring the nuances of spirits, searching for the perfect balance of sweetness with notes of oak. They prefer to consume dark rum neat or with just a hint of ice, allowing the spirit’s character to shine through without dilution – no different to sipping a fine single malt whisky.
In conclusion, the UK rum market has witnessed a significant transformation, driven by various demographic consumer profiles seeking unique experiences in the world of rum.
From the mixologists embracing the versatility of white rum to the adventurous explorers enchanted by the spices of spiced rum, from the creative blending of flavoured rum to the connoisseur’s appreciation of the complexity of dark rum, each segment brings its own flavour to the growing popularity of rum in the UK.
This diversified consumer base is fuelling the sales trend, and as the rum industry continues to innovate and experiment, we can expect even more exciting developments and expanding consumer interest in the years to come.