Sales of premium gin in the UK are on the rise as diners adjust their drinking habits when eating out, with drinks distributor Michael Clark saying that it has witnessed a year-on-year rise of super-premium gin sales in England by as much as 81 per cent.
The figures follow a report released in July by the Gin Guild and OnePoll which, having surveyed 2,000 alcohol drinkers between the ages of 24 and 38, found that gin was the choice of alcoholic drink this summer.
Nicholas Cook, director general of The Gin Guild, told BigHospitality that consumers have ‘become more aware’ of the variety of gins available to them and want brands that tell a story.
“In recent years we have not only seen significant growth in the number of people drinking gin, but consumers have also become more aware of the variety of gins available - seeking out unique flavour profiles and brands that have an interesting story to tell. This is being driven by the growing diversity of gins that continue to enter the market,” he said.
“It can be hard to keep up with the new producers that are coming into the category, as well as those producers that regularly release special limited edition and small batch products. It is a very positive movement however, as it broadens the market and provides additional consumer choice.”
Cook said that a number of brands are establishing themselves in their own regions and will soon branch out nationally and abroad.
“A local pedigree is proving popular with consumers as it helps them to understand where the liquid has been produced, thus building the interesting story behind the brand,” he said.
The growing popularity of gin can be witnessed first-hand at The Cinnamon Club which has reopened after a £1m refurbishment. It now has a gin trolley in the main dining room which offers over 20 blends including the rare Dodd’s Gin, while the Asian restaurant also offers diners a deluxe gin punch.
Production of the spirit has also increased massively over the last four years to help meet demand with the number of gin distilleries popping up over the UK according to data from the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA).
In 2010 there were 116 distilleries compared to 184 now, an increase of 59 per cent. In England alone the number of distilleries has risen by 187 per cent in four years from 23 to 66.
The government has also helped the UK gin industry by cutting duty on gin by two per cent and by releasing record amounts of data that includes satellite imagery which could help distillers pinpoint the clearest source of water.
However, despite its success WSTA chief executive, Miles Beale, said the spirit market in general would need continuing governmental support if it was to continue.
“It is hugely encouraging to see such outstanding growth in sales of sparkling wine and gin over the last quarter, with consumers benefitting from lower taxes and the impact of lower inflation,” he said.
“However, the broader wine and spirit market remains sensitive to change with mixed trading conditions seen across the on and off trade. It is therefore important that we continue to call for sustained support from the Government for an increasingly valuable British industry. The levels of taxation for the wine and spirit trade remain high in absolute terms, and we look forward to making the case to reduce this further in the Budget next year.”