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World Spirits Report 2022: Gin

Juniper-forward spirits continued to find favour with consumers in 2022. Gin is forecast to grow from 96.6 million nine-litre cases in 2021 to 103m in 2022, according to Euromonitor International.

Pernod’s ‘Speciality Brands’ grew by 24% in total, with speciality gin up by 43%

“We’re seeing moderate but important growth in markets like the US, Germany and Mexico – these are the countries where the gin category continues to grow, and where there’s still opportunity,” notes Arturo Illán, global brand manager for Martin Miller’s Gin.

In 2021, UK gin exports took a tumble due to the pandemic and Brexit, according to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs data cited by The Gin Guild. UK exports of gin fell by £30m (US$40.6m) to £541.5m.

In terms of volume, the Philippines is the largest gin market in the world, dominated by local brand Ginebra. However, when it comes to value, the UK is the number-one gin market, followed by the US, and then the Philippines, IWSR analyst Jose Luis Hermoso told The Spirits Business this year.

Illán adds: “We can see that a big piece of the cake can be found in non-traditional markets where the category is emerging and developing strongly – such as Brazil, Australia, and Canada.”

He continues: “The key driver is the rebound recovery of the on-trade, cocktail experimentation, integrated local flavours and, of course, the gin and tonic, perhaps with a local twist.”

This year, Stuart Gregor, co-founder of Australian brand Four Pillars Gin, cited India as a significant opportunity for gin – particularly if the free trade agreement between the two countries comes to fruition.

Pernod Ricard’s gin portfolio delivered a strong performance in the company’s full year 2022 financial results, further demonstrating the category’s popularity. Pernod’s ‘Speciality Brands’ grew by 24% in total, with speciality gin (Malfy and Monkey 47) up by 43%. Beefeater also saw success with a 35% spike in sales driven by a “strong rebound”, with the on-trade reopening in Spain, and “outstanding” growth in Brazil.

Diageo also saw success in its gin portfolio in the company’s full-year 2022 financial results. Tanqueray and Gordon’s both reported double-digit growth in the 12 months to 30 June 2022, while the gin portfolio as a whole grew by 18%.

But as the cost-of-living crisis bites, will consumers’ spending habits change?

“Possibly, as consumers will spend more on their immediate, priority needs,” says Illán. “This means the ‘value’ brands will benefit, but also the super-premium brands because consumers will treat themselves to better, even if it’s less often. This will create a gap in the mid-market, affecting the more standard and premium brands.”

Regarding category trends, Four Pillars’ Gregor previously forecast a downturn for higher-strength bottlings. “It will be harder for us to sell navy strength gins, for instance, as every country’s tax regime goes up, so it becomes expensive,” he said. “People aren’t necessarily looking for stronger gins.”

For Illán, however, gin cocktails will be the biggest trend for the category next year: “Gin cocktails will be popular because of the category’s versatility and ability to create light and refreshing drinks.”

Brands to watch in 2023

Gin Mare

A change of ownership could mean new things on the horizon for Gin Mare. Previously belonging to Vantguard and MG Destilerías, the Mediterranean-inspired gin brand was snapped up by Brown-Forman in November. In 2021, Gin Mare expanded its range with the addition of Gin Mare Capri, which is made with additional botanicals Italian bergamot and lemons. Time will tell if the new owners move to expand the range further.

Elephant Gin

From creating a pre-mixed Negroni cocktail to hiring a new sales director, and launching the Elephant Gin Foundation, 2022 has been a busy year for Elephant Gin. The distillery and visitor centre are nearing completion – and with the brand’s 10th anniversary taking place in 2023, there will surely be multiple activities planned to mark the occasion.

Nao Spirits

Credit: Instagram @hapusagin

Indian gin maker Nao Spirits creates two gin brands, Greater Than Gin, and Hapusa Gin. In March 2022, the company benefitted from a INR31.5 crores (US$4.1 million) investment from Diageo in return for a 22.5% stake in the business. This, according to Diageo, followed India’s growing premium gin segment, as drinkers seek out local and “craft oriented” products.

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