Gin naturally lends itself to a premium price, but suppliers are making it more accessible now with new ranges that hone in on aesthetic qualities, such as provenance, quality bottle design and botanicals. Its appeal is broadening as more shoppers are buying into the segment.
According to Chris Ellis, commercial director at Pernod Ricard, premium spirits grew by 15% last year in the off-trade, with new gin ranges contributing to 48.7% of this growth.
Furthermore, premium pre-mix cans grew by 10% in the same period, according to Neil Boyd, managing director at Edinburgh Gin, demonstrating the demand for convenient options in the category.
Suppliers have been working hard to innovate as a result. Most recently, Diageo Reserve launched Tanqueray London Dry Gin and Flor de Sevilla Distilled Gin & Tonic in pre-mix formats.
Rich Larkin, head of Diageo Reserve, says the launch meets consumer demand for recreating quality drinks and experiences in the comfort of their own home, providing them with the ‘perfect serve’ on any occasion – and not just in the on-trade.
The gin category shows no sign of slowing and is now worth £903m, growing by 48.3% from last year.
Within this, flavoured gin has grown in value by 457%, now representing 28% of the total gin market.
Looking at the products below, nine out of 10 featured are flavoured varieties. Within this, brands like Beefeater are growing at 404.1% in volume in the off-trade, faster than the total category at 40.1%.
So, the fact that Beefeater Blood Orange only has 2.06% distribution in the convenience channel means it’s a great staple to have in your range to stand out.
Leanne Ware, senior brand manager at Halewood Wines & Spirits, adds that with British summer making more consumers spend time outdoors, on trend spirits, including flavoured gins such as Whitley Neill Original or Rhubarb & Ginger gin, should be considered.
“This will ensure you maximise sales opportunities by providing options for both long drinks enjoyed with mixers, and more sophisticated cocktails that can be executed at home,” she explains.
Gin is becoming an artisan spirit, with small batch, new brands and local varieties becoming a point of conversation.
Most new brands are making their debut on social media, such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, attracting a millennial consumer base who don’t mind paying a little more for something premium.
This has resulted in a rise in gin tastings, pop-up bars and festival activations from some of the bigger players.
This year, Diageo Reserve took the plunge with the launch of Villa Ascenti, a super-premium gin. Tanya Clarke, the company’s general manager, says there has been a 38.6% increase in volume and 41.3% in value of premium gin in the UK.
“Gin represents 4% of Diageo’s net sales and grew 28% during the first half of Diageo’s 2019 financial year, with Gordon’s and Tanqueray showing double-digit growth and gaining share in Europe,” she explains.
“Gin innovation across the industry has helped to further grow the category, with consumers embracing the spirit’s unique flavour profiles and versatility.”
Gifts and accessories
The gift market is now worth £3.2bn, and despite Christmas still reigning as the number-one occasion when alcohol is purchased to gift, it is closely followed by birthdays.
This means retailers must ensure they have a good gin gift selection all year round to make the most of sales.
Forty per cent of consumers now serve cocktails before or after dinner when hosting. To take advantage of this opportunity, independent retailers can post recipe cards near relevant ingredients, or make their own display with everything in one place.
To pair with gin, goblet glasses are popular, being the signature glass consumers drink gin in at bars and pubs.
At the launch of Nisa’s Store of the Future earlier this year, the supplier showcased a range of gins alongside pairing options such as Franklin & Sons tonic water, lemons and limes, and goblet glasses to make the range stand out.
The display over-indexed on premium varieties, including Hendrick’s and Tanqueray, taking over the first shelf on a standalone bay.