Monday, September 25, 2017

High End Rum Up Double Digits in United States Bars

     While total rum volume sales declined in the United States, in the bar industry during 2016/17, the ultra-premium segment increased by 15.8% .  This is a good indication that “a new wave of premiumization” for the category.   Total rum volumes declined by 0.4% in the year ending 15 July 2017, while flavored rum, which accounts for 22% of the category and does not include spiced rum, grew volumes by just 1% year-on-year.
     Scott Elliott, senior vice president of Nielsen CGA, says rum “has plenty of options to meet the desire for premiumization and experience that on-premise visitors come to expect”.  “As consumers continue to visit on-premise channels for the experience, bars and restaurants should continue to broaden their rum range in the same way it does other categories”.  “There is a portfolio distribution opportunity where, compared to the well-represented light rum category – stocked in 90% of traditional on-premise – 43% of bars and restaurants don’t stock a dark rum, and 24% don’t stock a gold rum.”

    According to Nielsen, if current velocity per outlet is maintained and 25% of distribution gaps were closed, additional sales for the category would generate $74 million for light rum and $180 million for gold and dark rum combined.   The analyst suggests that retailers will need to move rum “beyond the confines of generic serve styles” to focus on premium mixers, sipping rums and offering rum-based takes on classic cocktails, such as the Old Fashioned.   Looking across the spirits sector, premium spirits grew by 2.6% year-on-year, while ‘mainstream’ brands grew volumes by just 0.5%.

     For those of us who enjoy a Ultra-premium rum when we go out, this is great news.   I can mean that there will be more of the bars carrying these brands and expressions to enjoy.