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UK drinkers buy 30m bottles of flavoured gin

Flavoured gin sales in the UK surpassed £500 million (US$705m) for the first time, according to new figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Gin glasses
Flavoured gin is expected its market share of the gin category in the UK

Flavoured gin sales in the UK were up 37% in the 12 months to 27 March 2021, equal to around 30m bottles sold. The WSTA said flavoured gin represents approximately 40% of the total gin market by both volume and value, and its market share is predicted to grow.

Sales of gin in the UK off-trade rose 30% to £1.3 billion (US$1.8bn) in the year to 27 March 2021, equal to 80m bottles.

However, the on-trade continued to witness huge declines, with sales in the channel down by 60% in both volume and value as venues were closed for most of the 12-month period. Sales in the on-trade reached just over £2bn (US$2.8bn) in the year to 27 March 2021.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, 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.”

The WSTA is calling on the UK chancellor to avoid increasing duty on spirits.

Furthermore, the WSTA said the total number of distilleries registered in the UK rose to more than 560 last year, up from 440 in 2019. The WSTA said the number of distilleries in England has nearly tripled since 2016.

England’s distillery numbers hit 300 for the first time, with 311 registered sites in 2020. Scotland grew its number of distilleries to 214, and Wales and Northern Ireland recorded increases too.

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