A new report from Campari Group UK has flagged premium rum as a key growth area for the spirit in the next year.

The company’s UK Rum Category Report 2022 said that premium rum recorded an 18% increase in value sales in the off-trade in 2021, compared to a declining standard rum category (-1.7%). The report anticipates that growth will continue to come through the top end of the category, as consumers “continue to show a greater appreciation for the quality of rum on offer, and the ‘drinking less but better’ trend plays an enhanced role in the category”.

The Appleton Estate rum owner said that aged liquid is linked to premium cues and according to the report, 70% of consumers agree that if a rum has an age statement, they are more likely to view it as high-quality liquid.

“Aged rums can therefore act as a smart recruitment tool, encouraging consumers of malt whisky and other aged dark spirits to explore the category, building on their existing appreciation for the complex flavours that aged spirits offer,” Campari Group UK said.

Elsewhere, the report also highlighted the role spiced and flavoured rums are playing within the category, accelerating interest, and recruiting a new generation of consumers.

“Spiced has been the key growth driver of total rum in the UK over the last two years and is expected to continue to drive the category forwards in 2022,” the company said. “In the off-trade, spiced rum has grown 9% compared to 2021, as younger shoppers continue to discover and explore the category.”

Meanwhile, flavoured rum’s share of total rum value in the UK off-trade has grown 4.3% from 2019 to 2021.

Out of the top 10 rum markets globally, the report flagged IWSR data which suggests the UK as having the highest CAGR growth rate to 2021 with 4.8% growth, taking the total value of the category to £1.17bn – placing the UK as the third largest rum market in the world.

“Our Rum Report shows just how much of an opportunity we see rum being for the UK market in 2022 and the years ahead,” said Brad Madigan, managing director, Campari Group UK. “The category is elevating itself far beyond what has previously been perceived as a rum-and-coke-dominated category, to one with endless opportunities within high-end cocktails and beyond.”