Brands Report 2023: Rum

05 January, 2023

Big brand Bacardi tops the bestsellers for the fifth year in a row – and manages second on the trending list too.

Well, that’s five wins on the spin for Bacardi. The Bermuda-headquartered rum is the perennial ­ fixture in bars – at all levels, in pretty much all markets. In a quarter of our sample of the world’s best bars, Bacardi was said to be the bestselling rum. Beyond the house pour, Bacardi’s wide range of styles also makes it a solid second or third option for bartenders – our poll made it among the top-two bottles in almost 40% of bars and among the top three choices in almost half. It was also second in our trending list, which, for a big brand, is impressive.

If Bacardi is rum’s leader there are two brands battling it out for runner-up. Maison Ferrand’s Plantation, led by its 3 Stars, and Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club, armed with 3 Year Old and 7 Year Old, have a similar number of house pours (about 10% each) but Plantation was found to have slightly more presence in bars’ rum arsenal – 27% and 25% respectively made it among their top-three serves.

Diplomatico – now owned by Brown-Forman – maintains its fourth spot in the list, but is also the top trending rum – normally an omen for progression in the bestselling list the following year. The Venezuelan rum isn’t many bars’ house but instead dukes it out with Diageo’s Guatemalan Zacapa for attention. These two sweethearts of the rum world may be more supporting cast than protagonists in most bars (both were bestsellers in less than 5% of those polled) but they are present among bars’ top three rums in 20% of our sample.

Meanwhile, the Jamaican Appleton Estate is more likely to be the house – in 5% of cases – but less likely to be part of the roster. Flor de Caña is something of an anomaly – only 12% said it was one of their top-three go-tos – but the Nicaraguan brand was found to be the house in a considerable 8% of bars.

Matusalem, the rum sponsor for The World’s 50 Best Bars, seems to have also made inroads in recent years. It has now climbed to seventh, with 5% of our sample making it their house. El Dorado and Mount Gay, which both offer something different in terms of provenance and pro­file to the back bar, make up our top 10.

How we did it

The Annual Brands Report results are the culmination of a survey of 100 bars from 33 countries 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.

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