The UK's Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has said that exports of British gin have doubled in value in the last ten years, with projections that gin exports will break the £600 million barrier for the first time this year.
For the first half of 2018, gin exports reached £279 million, the group said, and exports are well on track to beat the £530 million recorded last year.
“The global thirst for British gin continues to grow and there is no doubt that those overseas are drawn to the quality of gin made here in the UK," said WSTA chief executive, Miles Beale.
The USA remains the largest importer of UK gin, with sales to the US worth £93 million, up almost £5 million on the same period in 2017. Australia is also a growing market for UK gin, having spent £10.3 million on the spirit over the past six months, double that of last year.
The European Union accounts for the biggest share of UK gin exports, however, recording 19% growth in the first half of 2018, and Beale urged the industry and the government alike to ensure that these trade links are retained post Brexit.
"We are, by some margin, the largest exporter of gin in the world, with huge potential for growth, and our industry needs to take further advantage of this," he said.
"On leaving the EU, we want more government support to increase exports to developed markets such as Australia, Japan, China and the US. The EU represents a huge market for British gin, therefore it essential that we secure frictionless trade with Europe to ensure we maintain our position as the world's largest spirits exporter and further boost the UK economy and provide more jobs.”
Domestic gin sales recorded in the 12 months to the end of March of this year indicated that close to 55 million bottles of gin, worth almost £1.5 billion, were sold in the UK, up 28% in volume and 33% in value on the same period the previous year.
A recent YouGov poll also found that gin is now the 'UK's most popular spirit', according to 29% of respondents.
© 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.