Sales of rum are outpacing many other popular spirits, a new survey has revealed.

It puts the spirit in prime position to follow the surge in consumer interest in gin.

Data from CGA shows that rum sales rose 7 per cent year-on-year in 2019, putting it well ahead of other mainstream spirits including brandy (up 3.1 per cent), whiskey (up 0.9 per cent) and vodka (down 0.4 per cent).

Rum contributed to a spike in sales across the spirits category in 2019, with total value up by 6.2 per cent, compared to a 0.6 per cent drop for wine.

Gin has seen its on-trade sales more than triple in the last five years but rum could follow in its footsteps.

Phillip Montgomery, client director at CGA said: "These figures show how rum is an increasingly popular choice for consumers on spirit and cocktail menus. Sales have got a long way to go to match the stellar performance of gin, but its variety and versatility makes rum a major growth opportunity for operators and suppliers in 2020 and beyond."

There are opportunities to vary consumers' attitudes to mixers as the majority of rum drinkers pair it with cola or diet cola but many don't consider to drink it with juice or ginger ale, for example. 

Phillip added: "Compared to some categories, rum consumers are fairly limited in the number of brands they use and the ways they drink it. If operators and suppliers can educate and inspire people about the potential of rum, we could well see more and more people trading up and experimenting.

"But with many operators expanding their cocktail and mixer selections, it's becoming a very competitive arena, and brands are going to have stay right on top of their ranging, pricing and serving strategies to generate drinkers' loyalty."