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The top six best-selling gin brands

Gin is a category on the up. Bartenders are enthusing, consumers are imbibing, and as such, sales are soaring – and for many, the gin craze is just getting started. But what does it all mean for the fortunes of the six biggest international brands?

Did somebody say ‘gin fatigue’? Not in these parts. The juniper-based white spirit has proved to be thoroughly resurgent of late – the category posted the highest average growth rate of any category in The Brand Champions 2017, with every million case-plus selling brand in positive territory. The only other category to achieve such a feat was Tequila, with an average growth rate of 6.07%. This pales behind gin’s collaborative total of 9.63%.

What’s driving the category? The resonance of many independent brands and experimentation with consumers has undoubtedly stirred up excitement. But here we’re talking about the world’s biggest players – even in a competitive field packed with disruptors, these brands have stood firm.

But there have been some changes at the top – most notably the addition of Beam Suntory’s Larios, a welcome new face in the club. And Diageo’s Tanqueray has shot up the rankings too, usurping a very familiar name in the process…

Delay no further. Click through the following pages to discover the top six best-selling gin brands, listed in order of their nine-litre case sales.

6. Larios Gin

2016: 1.22m
2015: 1.04m
% change: 16.79%
Place last year: New entry

The biggest-selling gin in Spain, Beam Suntory’s Larios enjoyed a bumper year in 2016, notching up impressive growth of 16.79%. Its speedy expansion has secured it the title of the world’s fastest growing millionaire gin – a particularly impressive feat given the explosion at the smaller ‘craft’ end of the market. 2016 marked Larios’s first entry in The Spirits Business, but a Beam Suntory recalculation actually showed it crossed the magic million mark in 2015. Either way, its consistent volume gains over the past five years have surely set it in good stead to rise further up the rankings.

5. Seagram’s

2016: 2.63m
2015: 2.50m
% change: 2.20%
Place last year: 5

Bouncing back from significant 6.72% declines in 2015 to return to 5.20% growth last year is Pernod Ricard-owned Seagram’s. The brand’s history stretches back to 1857, and today Seagram’s reigns supreme in the US as the market’s top gin. There’s no sign of flavour fatigue here, with the likes of Lime Twisted and Pineapple Twisted expressions boosting the favour of the core Extra Dry Gin line. While volume sales have ebbed and flowed over the past five years, we reckon the brand is on the up once more, especially as the gin craze tightens its grip on North America.

4. Beefeater

2016: 2.76m
2015: 2.68m
% change: 2.99%
Place last year: 3

A true gin stalwart and sibling spirit to Seagram’s, Beefeater had a surprisingly quiet year in 2016. While sales climbed 2.99%, the performance was not enough to maintain its position in our best-selling list, and such the brand slipped one place to fourth. The most sluggish player in a pulsating category, Beefeater might have drawn the short straw for now. But with the recent appointment of a dedicated global brand ambassador, growing momentum behind its MIXLDN cocktail competition and a series of limited edition bottle releases, expect Beefeater to recoup ground in 2017.

3. Tanqueray

2016: 3.00m
2015: 2.60m
% change: 15.38%
Place last year: 4

Does everything touched by Tanqueray turn to gold? A perennial bartender favourite and popular among consumers, it’s little surprise the brand saw its volume sales climb more than 15% in 2016, pushing it over the three-million case mark for the first time. And as SB’s Gin Brand Champion for 2016, Tanqueray is a gin on the up. It’s biggest market is the US, accounting for around one-third of its sales, but Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean are performing well, too. Watch out for the brand this year – a spokesperson says a redesign is on the cards.

2. Bombay Sapphire

2016: 3.76m
2015: 3.33m
% change: 12.91%
Place last year: 2

A jewel in Bacardi Limited’s crown, Bombay Sapphire raked up impressive 12.91% growth in 2016, keeping it firmly in place as the world’s second largest gin brand. But Bombay Sapphire is no one-trick-wonder – the sizeable gains follow volume growth of 11% in 2015. This brand is not for slowing, and new initiatives, such as the global launch of the Glasshouse Project and The Grand Journey experiential activity will ensure the gin maintains mindshare among bartenders and consumers alike.

1. Gordon’s

2016: 4.60m
2015: 4.40m
% change: 4.55%
Place last year: 1

The gap might have narrowed, but Diageo’s Gordon’s brand remains the world’s best-selling gin brand. Following substantial losses in 2014, the brand responded emphatically, and last year sold 300,000 more cases per year than its previous high of 4.3 million in 2011. What’s its secret? A new ad campaign and makeover in 2015 surely contributed to the gains, while a bottle redesign and launch of the ‘Shall we…?’ campaign last year will certainly add traction going forward.

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