just-drinks, in association with The IWSR, presents this six-part review of the global rum category. In part five, we look at the consumer and category trends that have come into play for the sector.

Rum's international performance may be mixed currently, but the category continues to benefit from several helpful factors, not least its diversity in terms of both geography (The Caribbean, Latin American, local in, for instance, India and Australia) and style (white, golden, dark, spiced and flavoured).

Cultural associations are also beneficial, as Latino culture becomes increasingly influential around the world, particularly in the on-premise. Rum is also boosted by tourism in its core production areas.

The result is a spirit with multiple points of entry for the consumer, from mixable white to sippable dark rums, via the appealing flavours of spiced rum – although this segment is now facing increasing competition from rival categories.

Rum continues to under-perform when it comes to premium-and-above price segments, but brand owners are now employing a number of strategies to target this opportunity, both through the introduction of new products and – in the case of Bacardi with Banks Rum – the acquisition of bolt-on brands.

Consumer Key Views

  • Review

Rum's diversity and versatility are both a weakness and a strength. Its different styles create multiple points of consumer appeal, but its chameleon nature can make it hard for consumers to understand its true identity.

  • Insight

Spiced rum has been hugely successful in a number of markets in recent years, driving recruitment and sales. However, the segment has arguably more in common with other flavoured spirits than with unflavoured rum, making consumer loyalty elusive.

  • Forecast

With spiced and flavoured rum coming under pressure in some markets, the industry will have to find a way to restore growth to the core white and aged rum segments.

  • Strategy

Companies and countries/regions may begin to employ a 'divide-and-conquer' strategy, communicating their own unique characteristics and fostering an appreciation of rum's local identity among interested consumers.

To continue to part VI of the report, click here.

For the just-drinks Rum Essentials content page, click here

All data has been sourced from just drinks' joint report with The IWSR, Global Rum Insights.

Expert analysis

Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends

Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends

Global rum sales amounted to 141.8m nine-litre cases in 2015, a decline of 0.8% over 2014 levels, but not too far off the +0.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) seen between 2010 and 2015. On the pl...read more