The rum category will “only get stronger” with more regulations and transparency to give consumers “confidence” in what they are purchasing, according to a leading wine and spirits buyer.
Dawn Davies MW, head buyer at wholesale business Speciality Drinks, led a collaboration with retailer The Whisky Exchange to design a new classification system for rum.
Introduced in May 2019, the classification system aims to help consumers better understand the category and different rum styles available.
From October 2018 to October 2019, The Whisky Exchange has seen rum sales increase 43% – which it believes is partly due to the classification system.
“We are very excited to see the dramatic increase in rum sales since we launched the classification system as this shows that customers are really interested in the subject and are looking for ways to navigate through this confusing category.
“What is also great to see is that the value of rum is rising as this illustrates that consumers are now looking to spend more on premium rums and willing to try different styles.
“Rum is one of the most exciting categories out there at the moment and we believe that it will only get stronger with more transparency and regulation so that the customer can have confidence in what they are buying.”
Speciality Drinks also noted how premiumisation continues to be “key in driving this category”, and highlighted how consumers are searching for higher quality products.
The firm said rum fans are “ditching the mixer and seeking rums best served neat”.
“Rum is such a diverse spirit with the same complexity as whisky in terms of how it’s made, and bars and restaurants are really starting to look at it more closely,” said Jen Baernreuther, sales director at Speciality Drinks. “We have noticed that more of our customers are looking to expand their rum offering and make adjustments to their menus to help customers to navigate the rum selection.
“Brands are increasingly playing with new production methods and ageing processes and this has led to a new demand for sipping rums from our customers.
“Our new system of classification is our education tool to assist the on-trade in serving the spirit and to drive more sales.”
Source: The Spirits Business.