Top 10 best-selling rum brands

best-selling rum

The rum category was in rude health last year, driven by premium-plus variants. But how did the sector’s biggest players fare? Scroll through to discover the top 10 best-selling rums of 2022, listed in order of their nine-litre-case sales.

Source: The Spirits Business. By: Nicola Carruthers.

Last year, rum continued its time in the spotlight with particularly promising growth in the premium‐plus arena. In July 2022, CGA reported that UK sales of rum surpassed £1 billion (US$1.2bn) in the previous 12 months, meaning it now accounts for a bigger market share than whisky. The research firm attributed this growth to rum’s versatility in cocktails, consumer interest in new flavoured expressions and the premiumisation trend.

IWSR Drinks Market Analysis reported volume growth of 9% for rum in 2022 and the category is expected to post a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2% over the next five years.

The analyst also predicted that premium-plus rum volumes would climb by a CAGR of 6% between 2021 and 2026, with the segment’s value increasing by 6.5%.

Looking across the performance of million-case rum players last year, the majority were in growth, but many struggled to surpass their pre-pandemic volumes.

Data listed is to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied to The Brand Champions 2023 report.

10. Appleton Estate (including J Wray & Nephew)

best-selling rum
  • 2022: 1.1m
  • 2021: 1.1m
  • % change: -2.7%
  • Place last year: 9

Jamaican rum brand Appleton Estate has seen its volumes hover around 1.1m cases for the past five years.

The Campari Group-owned brand fell by one place to the 10th spot on our best-selling rum list after dropping by 2.7% in 2022.

In a report from the company on the category last year, Campari said the popularity of aged rum is expected to grow in the next few years, with the opportunity to further educate consumers around the different expressions on offer.

Perhaps the brand’s sales could recover in the future as dark spirits drinkers experiment in the rum sector and trade across to more affordable categories such as rum.

9. Božkov

  • 2022: 1.3m
  • 2021: 1.4m
  • % change: -9.9%
  • Place last year: 7

Stock Spirits’ Božkov saw sales slip by 9.9% to 1.3m cases in 2022, a stark contrast to its double-digit increase the previous year. It remains below its pre-pandemic sales high of 1.6m cases in 2019.

The decline also saw it move down two spaces on our best-selling rum list.

8. Contessa

  • 2022: 1.3m
  • 2021: 1.3m
  • % change: 1.6%
  • Place last year: 8

Radico Khaitan-owned Contessa reported a slight increase in sales last year, growing by 1.6%, but it remains at 1.3m cases. Like Božkov, the brand has struggled to surpass its pre-pandemic volume and remains in its eighth spot on our best-selling list.

Indian spirits producer Radico Khaitan also owns Rampur Whisky, 8PM Whisky, Magic Moments Vodka, and Old Admiral Brandy.

7. Old Port Rum

  • 2022: 1.5m
  • 2021: 1.1m
  • % change: 40.6%
  • Place last year: 10

Reporting the biggest increase among the million-case rum brands was Old Port Rum, which soared by 40.6% to 1.5m cases. It’s an astounding feat, considering the brand suffered a 32.3% decline to 1.1m cases the previous year, but it remains below the 2.1m cases it recorded in 2019.

Owned by India’s Amrut Distillers, Old Port Rum is produced from molasses sourced from native Indian sugar cane and aged in ex-whisky barrels and new oak barrels.

6. Barceló

  • 2022: 2.7m
  • 2021: 2.4m
  • % change: 12.5%
  • Place last year: 6

Barceló saw a favourable outcome in 2022, registering significant growth of 12.5% and hitting 2.7m cases. It is now at its highest case sales in five years.

Barceló is currently distributed in more than 80 countries worldwide. Over the last seven years, the brand recorded a compound annual growth rate of 19% in Europe and Asia. In Spain, the rum is the number-one spirits brand by both volume and value, it claimed.

Produced in the Dominican Republic, the ‘world’s first’ carbon-neutral rum is made with 100% sugarcane juice from its own plantations.

5. Havana Club

  • 2022: 4.6m
  • 2021: 4.3m
  • % change: 5.3%
  • Place last year: 5

Cuban rum brand Havana Club reported its second year in growth after increasing by 5.3% in 2022. The brand has returned to its pre-pandemic volume of 4.6m after reporting a double-digit drop in 2020.

Last November, Pernod Ricard-owned Havana Club debuted its global multi-media campaign, called Cuban Mode. The marketing effort could see its sales continue to grow in the future.

4. McDowell’s No.1 Rum

  • 2022: 8.8m
  • 2021: 8.4m
  • % change: 5.1%
  • Place last year: 4

Indian rum brand McDowell’s No.1 saw its volumes grow by 5.1% to 8.8m cases in 2022, but it struggled to reach its sales high of 11.2m in 2018.

McDowell’s No.1 is owned by Diageo’s Indian arm, United Spirits. The firm saw net sales rise by 19.5% for the year ending 31 March 2023, led by its ‘prestige-and-above’ brands.

3. Captain Morgan

  • 2022: 12.9m
  • 2021: 12.7m
  • % change: 1.9%
  • Place last year: 3

Diageo-owned Captain Morgan saw sales grow by 1.9% to 12.9m cases, its highest sales volume to date.

According to Diageo’s financial results for the last six months of 2022, Captain Morgan’s organic net sales rose by 5% with growth in all regions.

The brand recently rolled out a new packaging design globally in March 2023, inspired by last year’s ‘Spice On’ campaign.

2. Bacardí (including RTDs)

  • 2022: 23.6m
  • 2021: 23.4m
  • % change: 10.4%
  • Place last year: 2

Bacardí, our Rum Brand Champion for the second year in a row, recorded a double-digit gain in 2022 to 23.6m cases. The figure includes the brand’s ready-to-drink (RTD) portfolio.

Bacardí pins its category‐leading success to its connection with the consumer. Roberto Ramirez Laverde, global senior vice‐president, Bacardí Rum, says: “Rum has had a bit of a challenging past decade. Coming out of the recession in 2008, rum was a bit left behind as consumers changed their preferences.

“It was in 2017 and 2018 that Bacardí pivoted its brand strategy and went back to its roots and history with a new advertising campaign, under the umbrella of Do What Moves You.”

1. Tanduay

  • 2022: 27.4m
  • 2021: 23.6m
  • % change: 16.1%
  • Place last year: 1

The world’s biggest-selling rum brand, Tanduay, reported a double-digit increase in 2022, soaring by 16.1% to 27.4m cases.

The Philippine brand remains far above its nearest competitor, Bacardí, with nearly 4m cases between them. If double-digit growth continues for Tanduay, we could see it surpass the 30m-case threshold in the near future.

You may be interested in reading: Top 10 best-selling Scotch whiskies.

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