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Research: ‘No end in sight’ to GB gin sales growth

Britain’s on-trade gin sales increased by 56% to £1.4 billion (US$1.7bn) in the year to mid-May 2019, boosted by pink and flavoured variants, according to new research from CGA.

Women account for seven out of 10 of all pink gin drinkers

In CGA’s In the Pink: Big trends in the gin market report, 8.9 million people consumed gin outside of their homes in the year to 18 May 2019 – up by 2.3m year-on-year.

The report notes that gin sales have been boosted by the growing pink and flavoured gin category.

Sales in this segment grew by more than eight-fold to £392m (US$489m) with approximately 5.1m consumers now claiming to drink pink gin – a number that has more than doubled from 2.2m in a year.

More than half (54%) of them said they don’t drink gin generally, which the CGA suggests is due to consumers being tempted away from other spirits and cocktails to try pink gin.

According to the data, 68.6% of gin sales growth came from pink gin. CGA said that “time will tell if pink gin is a fad or here to stay”. The research also notes that women account for seven out of 10 of all pink gin drinkers.

By mid-May 2019, more than 61,000 licensed venues were stocking pink gin – a number that has more than tripled in the last 12 months.

Across Britain, pink gin accounts for 27.5% of all gin sales, but the proportion rises to 40.2% in Lancashire and 38% in the north east. In London, pink gin accounts for 16.1%.

‘Success story’

CGA’s director of client services for drinks, Jonny Jones, said: “Pink gin has been an extraordinary success story for the on-trade. It is clearly tempting a lot of drinkers away from other spirits and cocktails, and with new pink gin producers now piling into the market, it will be fascinating to see where the category goes from here.

“Brands and bars will have to innovate and keep their range fresh if they are to keep up with the pink gin mega-trend – and the best way to do that is to get a deep understanding of the drinkers behind it.”

In terms of price point, sales of mainstream gin brands grew by 80% in the last year. Premium gins rose 24.9%, while super-premium brands leapt by 46.3%.

In the British on-trade, the average number of gin brands stocked is 8.2, more than twice the average of 3.5 two years ago. The average price of a 25ml gin serve is £3.13 (US$3.90).

There were 247 new gin brands that entered the on-trade in the last five years – accounting for 24% of all new product development. Of the 247 brands, 44 – or one in six – were flavoured gins.

CGA also noted that the majority of gin purchases are for drinks-led occasions. But one in five (20%) consumers now drink gin only on food-led visits – up by four percentage points in a year.

Jones added: “CGA’s research shows there is no end in sight to the remarkable revival of gin sales.

“From value brands to artisan distilleries the category is booming, to the point where consumers now drink gin out-of-home more often than vodka.

“They are becoming ever more adventurous and experimental in their purchases, which makes it vital for suppliers and operators alike to obtain the sharpest insights into the latest trends and market preferences.”

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