Bacardi’s volumes dropped 5% in 2014 to 18.2 million 9-litre cases – its third successive year of sales decline – while the Indian rum brand’s slide was slower, at -4%, enabling it to reach the top of the category for the first time, by just 0.1m cases.
It was a reverse of 2013 when Bacardi edged out McDowell’s by 0.1m cases.
Though Bacardi has diversified its portfolio in recent years, it has struggled to find growth against the backdrop of an ailing white rum category.
There has been a three-way tussle for rum leadership since 2012, with Philippine brand Tanduay taking Bacardi close in 2012.
Tanduay recovered volumes lost in the wake of typhoon Haiyan in 2013, to grow to 17m cases in 2014 and take third place in the category.
For the full report on rum The Millionaires’ Club 2015 is published as a supplement to the July edition of Drinks International.