The Wine and Spirit Trade Association is toasting World Gin Day tomorrow (Saturday 12th June) by revealing that Brits, despite lockdown, continued to explore the world of gin, with sales in shops at a record high.
Latest figures released today by the WSTA show that sales of gin in our shops, supermarkets and online equated to a staggering 80m bottles, worth £1.3bn, up 30% in a year.
Sales of flavoured gin broke the £500m barrier for the first time, up 37%, with around 30m bottles sold – around 40% of the total gin market by both volume and value, with the WSTA predicting that this market share will increase.
With enforced closures in effect until 12th April across England – for pubs, bars and restaurants – shops and supermarkets were the only place gin lovers could explore the ever-expanding and exciting world of gin.
Sales of gin in the on trade, to the end of 2020, and that gin sales were down 60% by volume and value.
Total sales over the last 12 months (to 27th March 2021) were worth just north of £2bn, despite on-trade venues being closed for much of the year, and operating under onerous restrictions when they were allowed to trade.
The UK’s spirit sector is made up of a large number of SME businesses and supports around 230,000 jobs across the supply chain.
The WSTA is confident that, owing to the continued popularity of gin, the spirit will prove just the tonic to aid in our resilient hospitality’s recovery over remainder of the year, and is encouraging drinkers to head out and raise a glass this World Gin Day.
Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said: “Our latest gin numbers underline that reports of gin’s demise as the ‘go-to’ spirit are wrong. Despite the on-trade representing many of our great British distillers’ ‘shop window’, and a great place for Brits to try new and exciting tipples, hospitality’s closure hasn’t dampened our enthusiasm to enjoy the vast array of gins now on the market.
“Sales of gin have never been this high in our shops and supermarkets before – but this is encouraging news for our reawakening hospitality industry, too – some of these sales are certain to shift over to pubs, bars and restaurants.”
“As measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 continue to be relaxed, and we firmly believe that gin has a vital role to play in the recovery of our hospitality sector throughout 2021 and beyond – that is why we continue to ask for the Chancellor to recognise the great contribution our spirit makers offer to the hospitality offer, by not increasing taxes on gin and other spirits enjoyed both at home and in pubs, bars and restaurants.
“World Gin Day is coming up this Saturday 12th June, and the delayed Euro’s championship is kicking off. Lots of us will be heading down to our local to enjoy a gin and tonic. This most British of spirits is perfect no matter which UK team you are supporting! ”
The growth in gin sales began to emerge in 2013 when British consumers started to show renewed interest in the juniper-based spirit.
Over the next three years sales continued to grow at a steady pace enticing entrepreneurs to invest in artisanal brands leading to an explosion in new distilleries springing up across the country.
Remarkably the number of distilleries in England has almost tripled since 2016, which was the same year that the gin boom helped the number of English distilleries overtake Scotland for the first time.
England’s distillery numbers have topped 300 for the first time, with 311 registered distilleries in 2020. Scotland has increased its number of distilleries to 214, and Wales and Northern Ireland saw distillery numbers grow too.
The total number of distilleries registered in the UK in 2020 grew to over 560, up from over 440 in 2019.
The interest in British gin, which has been dubbed the ‘ginaissance’, has helped to fund new forays into spirit-making, with high-quality English and Welsh whisky and rums coming onto the market in recent years.