Sales of British gin have broken the £2 billion (€2.25 billion) mark, according to the latest findings from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
The group, which represents the drinks sector in the UK, said that British consumers bought close to 60 million bottles of gin in the past 12 months, while exports have also risen substantially.
The value of UK gin sales, combined with exports, has therefore doubled in the past five years, according to the study.
UK gin sales in the 12 months to June this year stood at £1.6 billion, according to the WSTA, with shoppers buying the equivalent of an extra 14.4 million bottles in the period.
In addition, exports of British gin totalled £532 million for the period.
Overall, gin accounted for 68% of value growth within the spirits sector, the WSTA found.
“Gin has proved itself to be just the tonic for the government’s ambitions to grow exports of premium British products,” said Miles Beale, WSTA chief executive.
“On top of that the gin boom in the UK has allowed our talented and innovative British distillers to invest and grow their businesses creating new jobs and boosting the British economy. If gin continues to grow at this rate there’s no reason why the industry can’t set its sights higher, we could be talking about a £3 billion gin empire by the end of 2020.”
However, Beale warned that the government needs to maintain duty rates on spirits in order to ensure that the ‘ginaissence’, as it has been dubbed, is long lasting.
“As things stand, instead of supporting this jewel in the crown of the British drinks industry, the Chancellor is set to raise spirits duty at the next Budget,” he said.
“UK consumers already pay some of the highest alcohol prices in Europe. We are calling on Philip Hammond to freeze duty – just as he did last year. Yet again it would be a win/win/win – more money for the Treasury, support for British business, pubs and the cash strapped consumer.”
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.