WSTA: Gin still on top but keep an eye on rum
Sales of gin in the UK totalled £2.5 billion in the year to June 2019, however sales of rum, particularly golden and spiced variants, are on the rise, according to figures published by the WSTA.
According to the latest figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, over 80 million bottles of gin were sold in the UK in the 12 months to June 2019.
The spirit is performing particularly well in the on-trade, with sales growing 51% by volume and 52% by value to total over £1.5 billion.
In the off-trade, gin was also dominant, with sales worth £961m, up 34% on last year.
Flavoured gin continues to perform well, contributing to over 80% of the growth in gin sales in UK retail in the year to July 2019. Flavoured variants now account for a third of overall gin sales.
With an increasing number of rum launches in recent months, some commentators have said that the spirit will be ‘the next big thing’.
While the total rum market only grew 1% in the last year, according to the WSTA, it is sales of golden and spiced rums that are actually behind the true growth.
In the UK on-trade, sales of golden rums are now worth £383 million, while in UK shops and supermarkets, sales have risen by 23% in volume (the equivalent of 65,000 bottles) in the 12 weeks from March to June this year, compared with the same period in 2018.
Meanwhile, in the last five years, the flavoured and spiced rum category has grown from just under 6m bottles in 2014 to over 10m bottles in 2019 – up almost 80%.
Sales of dark rum are now worth around £127 million, while sales of white rum, the largest segment of the rum market, have fallen, with 300,000 fewer bottles sold in the 12 months to June 2019. White rum sales are now worth £360m and 13.1m bottles were sold in the year to June 2019.
As for spirit sales as a whole, total UK sales in the year to June 2019 amounted to £11.6bn.
Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said: “Our latest Market Report numbers show that gin is still king of the spirits category, in terms of growth and innovation. However, there are signs that consumers are starting to become more adventurous when it comes to trying new rums.
“British consumers’ willingness to explore new drink experiences helped with the initial gin boom, and we are starting to see some segments of the rum category benefit from a similar impact. It’s hard to make a case for anything other than 2019 as another year of gin, but maybe in 2020 we will see rum pulling out all the punches as spirits’ new rising star.
“We also see that the spirits category benefitted from a freeze in duty at the last Budget, allowing our great British distillers to invest and grow, and we will continue to make the case that both spirits and wine should receive more favourable treatment after a new government has formed. Some consumers will be surprised to hear that 73% of the cost of an average bottle of spirits is taken up by tax.”