With Golden Rum delivering a rare growth sector within a sluggish spirits market, premium rum and spirits company J Wray & Nephew UK report that a late consumer surge has put this Christmas on a par with last year’s trading – with premium aged expressions showing a higher uptake, delivering a 4% increase year on year.
General Manager Diane Edwards says that sales of Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum have exceeded expectations; “Appleton Estate V/X continues to outpace the golden rum market growth in multiple grocers, indeed this was best December ever for the brand! Premiumisation has been leading consumer behaviour, with significant trading up to AEV/X from more standard rums – in fact, all our premium products have exceeded target. Aged expressions are seeing greater traction in premium on trade and luxury retail outlets with a growing trend of ‘back to classics’ in cocktails, driven by the resurgence of 1950s glamour, driving renewed interest in drinks like the Mai Tai – originally made with a J. Wray & Nephew produced rum – the closest modern day equivalent being Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old.”
The company sees a dawning of understanding that aged rum can rival cognac and whisky for flavour, depth and complexity, as evidenced by the successful listings of Appleton Estate 12YO, Appleton Estate 21YO and Appleton Estate 30YO in luxury retail, as well as in high end bars and, increasingly, white table cloth restaurants. “Appleton Estate can rightly claim to have introduced the concept of terroir in rum, analogous to wine, as being one of the important flavour determinants in the creation of fine rums,” explains Edwards.
Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum maintains its dominating position as the World’s top selling overproof rum. It has delivered strong growth and in so doing has leapfrogged UK sales levels of some major shopping list spirits and liqueur brands in the UK. “This resurgence of classics in terms of serves has created a new interest in punch and pre-prepared offerings, as well as cocktail experimentation in the home,” comments Edwards. “There is a whole tradition around punches that both golden and white rums can lay claim to. We are also seeing more of a uni-sex consumption profile, as female drinkers become more adventurous and are discovering the thrill and variety of golden rums and rum cocktails. The mojito is now the UK’s national cocktail of choice, and consumers are now increasingly replicating this at home. We continue to benefit well from the growing support of the high end retail sector, and when you add the excitement and creativity generated by an increasingly world class on-trade, this cumulative effect has been really exciting this year.”
In terms of general spirits trading, Edwards notes; “As like last year, it is a pity that the market leaders choose to discount quality brands, at a time of celebration when consumers would naturally want to trade up to more quality brands,” explains Edwards. “Our success with maintaining the value of our premium brands speaks to the strength of our brands and the growing consumer desire to maintain the quality of their consumption, even at the potential expense of frequency.”
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In 2012, Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum has been invited to join the ranks of Cool Brands, as voted by an independent panel of experts and consumers.