Annual UK gin sales top £1bn for first time

9th December, 2016 by Annie Hayes

UK gin sales in the on- and off-trades have exceeded £1 billion for the first time, six months ahead of forecasts, according to a new market report by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

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UK gin sales in the on- and off-trades have exceeded £1 billion for the first time

Gin broke the £1bn sales mark in the on-and-off trade for the first time ever in in the UK in 2016 – 283,000 hectolitres, equivalent to 40 million bottles and 1.12bn gin and tonics.

In 2016, total volume sales of gin rose by the equivalent of an extra 7 million bottles compared to 2012 – around 200 million G&Ts.

Since the WSTA’s first market report in 2012, off-trade sales have increased by £300m; equivalent to £3,750 extra in every UK pub.

For six consecutive quarters, gin sales in pubs, bars and restaurants have seen double digit growth, outperforming every other spirits category. On-trade gin sales in the 12 month period ending 1 October grew by 19%, worth £619m.

Shops, supermarkets and off licences saw sales grow by 13% in 12 month period ending 5 November – worth £437m. Since 2012, gin sales in shops, supermarkets and off licences have increased by 68%.

According to HMRC figures, 40 new distilleries opened in 2016 (up to 1 December), which, when added to the 56 opened in 2015, totals almost 100 new distilleries opening in the UK within two years.

In addition, three out of every four bottles of gin imported around the world are from the UK – with America, Canada, Spain and Germany buying the most.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said: “There are many reasons why people may not feel like celebrating 2016 but the WSTA are pleased to give you something happy to reflect on – 2016 can now be remembered as the ‘Great British Gin Take Off’.
“We hope that government supports our innovative gin makers who have driven an extraordinary increase in UK exports, up 166% since 2000.
“We would like to remind government that cutting excise duty boosts business and brings more money into the Treasury.
“Following the cut in spirits duty in the 2015 budget, spirits duty income increased on the previous year by £125m (+4.1%) from April 2015 to March 2016 inclusive.
“The UK spirit industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe with 76% of a bottle of spirits accounted for by tax, the 4th highest duty rate for spirits in the EU. Let’s make sure gin continues to boom in 2017.”

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