While it seemed as though gin was set to reign supreme forevermore in the UK, it looks as though the gin bubble may finally be about to burst. From the classic G&T to flavoured gins, pink gins and gin-infused everything (chocolate, sweets, lip balm, you name it), the juniper-based tipple has saturated the spirits market for the last few years.
However, there’s now a new spirit who’s popularity is on a steady incline that’s being tipped as the nation’s next favourite drink. According to a report by Sainsbury’s, rum is pegged to take over gin as the new spirits fave, as the supermarket has seen an impressive 39 per cent increase in sales compared to all other spirits sales.
Sainsbury’s external Spirits expert, Tom Sandham, says: ‘Gin lured countless drinkers away from vodka, with notorious classics like the Negroni flourishing as drinkers craved punchy new botanical flavours. Now gin drinkers are turning towards rum for the same reason, as it’s the ideal stepping-stone drink into aged spirits: not too bitter, and lovely mixed or neat.’
The supermarket found that more than 1 in 3 (34 per cent) 25-44 years old claim to enjoy drinking rum and say it could be their next drink of choice.
Tom continues: ‘The beauty of rum is it’s sweet and approachable and can be sipped neat. Rum and coke is already a ubiquitous serve and for some drinkers, rum can be a much easier transition into darker spirits than moving from gin to whisky, for example.’
But which bottles of rum are we turning to the most?
The 5 bestselling rums at Sainsbury’s
1. Captain Webb’s Two Swallows Spiced Rum
2. Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum
3. Captain Morgan Spiced Gold
4. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
5. Lamb’s Navy Rum
As was the case with gin, flavoured rums will start to feature more heavily on our home drinks carts; in fact flavoured and spiced rums are favoured the most, with an 80 per cent jump in the number of bottles sold between 2014-2019. Emma Williams, Head of Future Brands Origination and Investing, says: ‘With rum booming, more botanical rum products are on the horizon as customers opt for new flavours and variations of their new spirit of choice.’
Tom explains that ‘consumers are sold on great flavours, provenance and quality – and rum’s exotic charms should tempt them. Rum’s growth has been slower than gin’s, but its time has certainly come. It’s possible that in the future we may see more rum being produced here in the UK by craft distillers, as rum can be made anywhere in the world. But demand for rum originating in the Caribbean, Guyana and Venezuela will come first.’
Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s Spirits Buyer Michael Cary, comments: ‘Sainsbury’s rum sales have grown an impressive 39 per cent compared to all spirits sales which increased by 21 per cent, with homegrown varieties such as Captain Webb’s Two Swallows Spiced Rum proving very popular amongst consumers. This is phenomenal growth to see within the space of just one year, so it’s entirely possible that the sweet allure of rum could one day possibly even topple gin as the nation’s favourite. Let the battle be-gin.’