Brands Report 2024: Rum

Rum has not been without its issues in recent years, and these may still mean future rami­fications for some brands.

It’s now the sixth year in a row that Bacardi has topped the rum bestsellers list. The Bermudan giant has again proven to be an essential at every tier of hospitality, with its value proposition and versatility tough to beat. Given that Bacardi is the house pour in 28% of the polled bars, and a top-three bestseller in almost half, it looks unlikely that its category dominance is about to change.

For now, the real competition is the fight for second place and this year, after Plantation took second place in 2023, silver honours go to Havana Club. It was close between the two brands, but ultimately Havana Club just edged it, being the house pour in 16% of bars to Plantation’s 15% and top three in 35% to 30%.

Havana Club recently announced a new global bartending competition, indicating a growing emphasis on advocacy with serious bartending. Given Plantation’s lack of public movement on its name change, it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on whether the gap between the brands grows – given its placement at the top of the trending list, perhaps not.

In fourth, Diplomático was a top-three rum in 21% of bars. Previous lists have seen the Venezuelan brand duke it out with Ron Zacapa as the go-to sweet rum, but following Diplomático’s acquisition by Brown-Forman at the end of 2022, the gap between the two brands appears to be widening.

Matusalem continues to hold a position on the bestselling rum list. As the rum sponsor for the World’s 50 Best Bars and with many influential guest shifts and bar takeovers, the Dominican rum has found a home among the world’s elite bars.


How we did it

The Annual Brands Report results are the culmination of a survey of 100 bars from around the world which have been nominated or won international awards. The report offers a picture of the buying habits of the world’s best bars – not only which brands sell best, but also what’s trending to indicate the brands that are hot right now.

To view the page-turner edition of the Brands Report click here.

The Brands Report will be serialised on throughout January.