Rum sales set to break £1 billion mark

Rum sales are following that of gin with sales set to break the £1 billion sales barrier later this year, according to the latest report from the Wine & Spirits Trade Association (WSTA).

The WSTA’s latest 2017 annual Spirits Report show that in 2016 Brits bought almost 34 million bottles of rum worth £960 million. The figures represent a 5% increase in volume in sales of rum through supermarkets and shops compared to the previous year. On-trade sales are also up.

In the last five years UK rum has seen sales increase by 15% in volume and 32% in value.

The WSTA attributes growth to the revival of Tiki bars, which serve exotic tropical-themed rum-based cocktails.

Total spirit sales last year amounted to more than £10bn an increase of 8% on 2015.

Chief executive of the WSTA, Miles Beale, said: “”Rum is another spirit punching above its weight and benefiting from the craft cocktail craze. We are pleased to see a flurry new British rum brands popping up in recent years.

“As we have seen a rapid growth in the number of distilleries in the UK, a new wave of UK spirit makers are turning their hand to rum production. We are calling on the Government to support our innovative spirit makers by freezing excise duty until Budget 2018 and reviewing its regressive policy of year-on-year inflationary rises in excise duty for the full term of the current Parliament.

“With 78% of an averaged priced bottle of rum made up of tax, UK consumers are being punished, and the potential of our internationally recognised spirits industry is damaged too. Recent history shows that lower rates of duty are proven to boost business and bring more money into the Treasury’s coffers.”

Gin sales passed the £1 billion mark last year. 

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