The fast-growing Rum market

While rocketing sales of gin have grabbed the headlines, licensees shouldn’t forget that the rum sector is next favourite, having increased in value by 4.1% to June 2016 MAT.

Where once upon a time there was only dark rum – as in the colour of the rum in the bottle preceded by the pirates’ favourite song lyrics “Yo-ho and a bottle of…..” – then along came white rum and for a many many years this became the only colour of rum that featured in the on- and off-trade market.

It’s still the case to a great extent, but now white rum has been added to by dark rum, golden rum and spiced rum.

Last April CGA Strategy published its Mixed Drinks report for the UK which found that after gin, rum is the second-fastest growing spirits category in the on-trade there, with volumes up 7.8% year-on-year.

This is primarily driven by the booming popularity of golden/spiced rums which have grown by 17.5% whereas the performance of the dark & white subcategories is relatively flat year-on-year, growing by 0.9% & 0.6% respectively.

CGA Strategy also found that behind vodka, rum is the second most popular spirit consumed in cocktails, with 26% of cocktail drinkers consuming at least one cocktail with white rum in it each month. For Golden/Spiced Rum & Dark Rum the same figure is 22% and 21% respectively.

And a CGA/Peach BrandTrack study last July found rum to be especially popular with younger consumers. Some 52.8% of rum drinkers are aged between 18 and 34 where only 28.8% of total consumers sit in this age bracket.


Irish rum market

Here in Ireland, all the different types of rum form around 9% of the total spirits market according to market researchers Mintel, with the rum segment expected to see continued growth “with sales of dark/golden and spiced rums in particular performing well”.

Nielsen puts the rum market at 15,537 Hectolitres MAT to September 2016. On-trade sales account for 67% of the €97.6 million rum market or €65.5 million.

Nielsen points out, “On-trade is the key driver of the rum market with 67% of the total value traded in the on-trade”.


White rum

In its 2015 report on the Irish Spirits market Mintel offers a snapshot breakdown of the RoI consumption pattern for white rum. It found that 6% of consumers drank it on its own, 28% with a mixer and 38% as part of a cocktail.

Mintel also took a look at the characteristics associated with white rum to find that 17% found it ‘trendy’, 9% ‘boring’, 15% ‘exciting’, 8% ‘intimidating’, 16% ‘authentic’, 13% ‘indulgent’ and 11% found it ‘value for money’ while 13% found it ‘a drink to savour’.

Mintel states, “Looking at both white and dark rum, consumers associate rum with being versatile (ie can be used in a number of ways), but dark rum is more likely to be viewed as trendy by Irish consumers”.


Dark rum

Golden/spiced rum had been drunk by 49% of RoI consumers in the last three months, states Mintel in its Whiskey and Dark Rum report on the Irish market from last February, with pubs and bars being the most likely places that consumers would have drunk whiskey or rum in this last three-month period, believes Mintel.

The whole Island of Ireland rum sector is estimated to be worth €97.6 million in 2015, “having increased in value by 2.5% since 2014,” according to the Mintel report, “The on-trade sector for rum was valued at €65.7 million in 2015”.

But dark rums have been the most significant growth factor in the rum market with a number of new introductions raising the curiosity of rum’s mainly younger adult consumers.


On-trade rum sales

Where whiskey and colas once trod the path, dark rums and colas have followed.

According to Mintel’s report, a strong contingent of users are drinking it with either cola or juice (eg orange).

Bearing this in mind, pubs are advised to display a unit price for a rum and mixer rather than just having separate prices.

And if a pub can offer a whiskey or a beer flight at a reasonable price then why not offer customers a rum flight – or even a number of differently-priced flights to cater for mid-range rums and premium rums?

This makes the mid-range and premium rums available in your outlet accessible to your customers since they’re offered at what they’d consider an accessible price point.




The iconic Bacardí rum portfolio recently surpassed 700 awards for quality, taste and innovation, making it the most awarded rum in the world as well as the most awarded spirit of all time.

Bacardí rum is the key ingredient in many of Ireland’s most popular cocktails including the Mojito, Cuba Libra and Daiquiri, which is why it’s an essential shelf- and stocking-filler during the festive period.







Top Dog
As the days darken towards Christmas and the weather turns ‘Dark & Stormy’, serve up a drink that’s equally as brooding: Sea Dog Dark Rum, Ireland’s number 1 Dark Rum, produced from high-grade sugar cane and made in the rich, dark, old Jamaican style.
During the middle 1500s John Hawkins, the leader of the infamous Sea Dogs, plundered the wealthy merchant ships trading in the lawless Caribbean Sea. He helped himself to the richest treasures the Caribbean could offer but there was one prize he cherished above any other: the fine, dark Jamaica Rum – destined for European royalty – rarely found its way past the thirsty Sea Dogs.
Sea Dog Dark Rum is distilled in the tradition of that treasured spirit and maintains the same dark, mysterious character giving a truly unique taste and aroma evocative of Old Jamaica.

This Christmas try something that will warm the heart – Sea Dog Dark Rum with a blend of brown sugar, butter, nutmeg, cloves and hot water. For more serve suggestions search for Sea Dog on facebook.
Sea Dog Dark Rum is exclusively distributed in Ireland by Findlater Wine & Spirit Group.


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