Founder George Frost on the rise and rise of Duppy Share Rum

Duppy Share Rum has announced it has secured £2m in investment as the UK-based brand turns its sights to the US. Drinks International caught up with founder George Frost.

“We want to speed up the rum revolution,” says Frost. “We are leading something incredible here, and the pride that I feel every time someone orders rum is incredible. The money will enable us to dial up the fun, my business partner [Jack Orr-Ewing] will kill me for saying that!

“We are the official rum of Notting Hill Carnival next year, but we are also looking to support our incredible head of export, Louis, to increase sales further. And we are going to treat our on-trade partners even better - we would be nothing without them so we have to make sure we reflect that.”

The most recent round of fundraising included investment from British billionaire investor Jim Mellon, the Irish horse racing Magnier family, UK energy entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick, ex-footballer Ian Wright and the music producer, Fraser T Smith.

Since launching in 2014, the brand has grown to become the top-selling premium rum in the UK, success that Frost feels is in part down to lessons that he learnt from his father, legendary broadcaster Sir David Frost. Ascribe

“There are three things [that we credit the success to]. The first is about hunting Aristotle’s mean. In this case that’s between naivety and optimism. Dad equipped us with the latter – he showed us that anything was possible, and I know how awash I am with the former to spot it when it comes. Secondly, it’s [American businessman] Alan Lafley's approach to where to play and how to win. We nailed both of those. Finally – and once the others are in place its limitless positivity and hard work – after all, the first yes comes after the last no.”

With the UK all but conquered, the brand can now afford to turn its sights to new frontiers and has outlined plans to expand to the US in April.

“Global sales of rum are three and a half times that of gin. A huge amount of that is in the US, where gin is way smaller than it is here. We would launch in Florida away from the competitive minefield of New York. Not only is the environment in Miami perfect for us, but more importantly their approach to life is perfect too. They are open to new things, incredibly positive and liberal. Those traits are perfect for us.

“[The rum category] is flying. We always think about Volume vs Volume – how much people talk about something vs what the numbers are saying. People have been talking about rum being the next big thing and this year the numbers have backed it up and then some.”