Thursday, December 8, 2016
Momentum finally building behind rum, the last spirits category to fully climb up the value ladder. Perhaps it’s finally rum’s time to shine. Key to this was shifting the consumer conversation to premium offerings and placing an emphasis on the premium and ultra-premium expressions. One of the weaknesses of rum is that the super-premium and ultra-premium categories are relatively underdeveloped, compared to those of whisky and cognac.
The other problem for the rum customer is that those looking for rare and top quality rums are being forced elsewhere. The rum consumers look to online resources, rum clubs and friends traveling abroad when they are seeking high-end rums. They are simply aren’t available in most liquor stores, even if they are, then they are only sporadic on the shelves and not enough to get the connoisseurs excited enough to keep visiting the stores on the off chance of finding something to suit their taste.
It’s been several years where the rum category has been working to develop and fill the gap between the low end production rums and that of the super-premium and ultra-premium expressions. In many cases, the retail portion of this equation has no idea that there are really expressions of this caliber from the category. Rum has to seriously attack this lack of knowledge relating to these expressions both at the customer level, but at the wholesale and retail level as well. This after all is the only sector of the category that is showing some sales growth, while the rest has been losing ground over the past couple of years.
Great rums do no good if the customers can’t get their hands on them. It seems to me that the industry needs to put as much effort into educating the public and the market place of the availability of these wonderful expressions.