Barti Ddu

Welsh brand Barti Ddu is among those to be listed in the department store

John Lewis has broken into the rum category with a new, nine-strong range of drinks.

The range was curated for John Lewis by The Great British Exchange, and includes British rum brands, such as The Salford Rum Company, Scottish rum SeaWolf, and Welsh ‘seaweed rum’ brand Barti Ddu.

Other brands include Nusa Cana, Mattuga, and Hattiers. The range will be available from the department store until August.

The introduction of rum to the shelves of a high street retailer like John Lewis showed retailers outside food and drink understood the “growing demand” for premium spirits – especially among younger shoppers, said Great British Exchange national account manager Keir Hayter.

Read more: Could rum really rise up and steal gin’s crown? 

“This age group may drink less than their parents but they are willing to spend more on premium and innovative products,” she added.

Rum has repeatedly been pegged as the ‘next big thing’ to hit the spirits market, and the past year has seen a raft of fledgling UK brands begin to make waves, such as Lyme Bay, Dead Man’s Fingers and Cloven Hoof.

Established brands, too, have quickened the pace of NPD hitting the market. Bacardi, for instance, launched its posh Cuatro rum last year, with an eye to appealing to drinkers outside its heartlands.