Gin - What Next?
Between 2013 and 2018, the gin industry delighted in a renaissance with some sectors of the markets enjoying growth spurts of nearly 60% after overall buying of this refreshing tonic had been suffering in previous years. In early 2020, however, this massive boom of gin consumerism seemed to have passed its peak and people were wondering if the once sparkling bubble had burst. Now we’re post pandemic it’s clear those sceptics had nothing to fear as gin continues to keep up with the trend.
The surge of gin sales started about 10 years ago and was helped predominantly by two major happenings, the advent of the Social Media age and photo sharing and, more importantly, pink gin hit the shelves! As pictures of this glamorous looking tipple were shared around the world, people were commenting on the unique flavour of it; strawberries, raspberries, and other fruity tastes were helping fuel popularity across both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.
Many of gin’s big players quickly jumped on the rosy trend, mixing anything pink with the original juniper and bitters of old. Rhubarb, cherry blossom, and even rose petal flavoured gins appeared from established brands like Beefeaters and Hendricks, as well as craft companies like Wild Thyme, which is one of the sector’s big success stories. While overall sales of the pink variety of gin have steadied out, it has piqued an interest in unique tasting gins, such as gin flavoured with herbs, brambles, citrus, and even salted fudge! Not surprisingly, demand continues to grow worldwide.
Between gin brands UK that have been on the shelves for hundreds of years and the number of small distilleries still popping up, an incredible array of flavours is now available for the discerning gin lover. As well as sweet berries and sour fruits, some crafters are now creating savoury flavours! Discerning buyers can pick up a Chilli & Lime variety while Smoked Chilli Gin is exactly what it says on the bottle, chipotle and other peppers are mixed with citrus for this taste explosion, and there is even a Cactus flavour. It’s not clear yet if these bold tastes will hit the mark with the consumer, but the investments being made in this area show us that there is demand for gin like never before.
A factor that has positively affected all areas of the alcoholic drinks market, be it gin or otherwise, is a new demand from consumers for craft-focused, alternative tasting beverages. While traditional clear gins like Tanquerey and Gordon’s still make up the majority of worldwide sales with lower price points, considered drinkers are turning their focus to small distilleries that have organically cultured more authentic, homegrown brand stories. Whether it’s the sourcing of local ingredients, a recipe of botanicals as long as your arm or both, gin lovers now look for brands with resonating ethics that they can believe in.
With the onset of crowdfunding to assist with the initial costs, at least one new craft distillery is now brought to life every single day. In the UK alone, around 83 million bottles of gin have been sold in the last year, with sales reaching a record £6.2 billion; this means the value of gin has doubled in value in just two years. In fact, during the various lockdowns, gin was the spirit that sold the best over any online platform. It’s not hard to see why many entrepreneurs and investors are getting on board with a drink once considered “Mother’s Ruin”.
When we think of the 621 million litres of gin that have sold at an annual rate recently, it may bring to mind established brands such as Sipsmith or Plymouth, but roughly 108 litres of these sales are made up of little-known Filipino brand San Miguel. The provision of lower priced gin alongside premium gin and craft varieties appears key to continuing the global expansion; With a growth of over 6% in the years leading up to 2018 and still going as the world’s markets recover from covid, the Ginebra San Miguel Corporation is owner to what is actually the world’s best-selling gin.
The hunt for ever more fanciful food and drinks, powered by the internet age of sharing and discussion, is not going to be over any time soon. In the UK alone, data shows “gin brands” has 3600 monthly searches performed, with terms such as “premium” and “artisan gin UK” bringing in nearly 1000 more. Combine this information with the number of searches being conducted around the globe, the ever increasing mix of botanical flavours on offer and the competitive price range, it’s clear to see that the gin market will continue to thrive, remain lucrative, and continue to enjoy worldwide success as the industry recovers from the pandemic.