Brands Report: Rum

Widely tipped to be the next big category, Rum has become a serious battleground, says Shay Waterworth

Rum is a category on the verge of a new golden era – so this league is hotly contested. In the end it was close – the testimony of just one bar prevented Bacardí from knocking Plantation off the top spot as the Best Selling rum in 2017.

Plantation, which made its debut in this list four years ago and is still gaining momentum, was not only the top selling brand according to our poll, but the Top Trending one too.

Nearly a third of all bars that took part gave Plantation the Top Trending accolade and the Caribbean brand was also voted second in the Bartenders’ Choice category (see page 7).

Although Bacardí lost out on the top spot, it has had a good year, rising from third in 2017 to overtake Havana Club.

Contributing factors have probably been its various trade and consumer marketing campaigns, such as the recruitment of electro group Major Lazer, and the ever-growing Bacardí Legacy cocktail competition.

In the middle order, Diplomatico maintained its position at sixth, while El Dorado gained a place, finishing fifth. Sailor Jerry’s deserves a mention at number 10 – its seasonal launches and strong presence during London Cocktail Week, where the brand gave out free tattoos, are examples of its creative marketing to bartenders.

As well as growing its sales, Diplomatico has climbed to second in the list of Top Trending brands.

This is a brand that does well with bartenders – its expressions seem, at times, tailor made, not least its recent distillery editions launched during Bar Convent Berlin 2017.

In comparison, Trinidad rum Zaya, which held the runner-up spot in 2016, has completely dropped off the list – highlighting the rapid change in trends within the rum category today.



The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.