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UK bars waste £1.9m worth of gin

Spirits distributor Paragon Brands has kicked off The Big Gin Swap, a programme which helps bars in the UK exchange their leftover, half-full bottles for new ones.

Paragon Brands found that UK bars waste £1.9m worth of gin


The company commissioned a survey of 53 independent UK bars, which showed £1.9 million (US$2.38m) worth of old and open gin bottles is going to waste in those bars.

This follows on from the fallout of the country’s 2015-2019 gin boom where the survey also revealed that 30% of UK bars have old, unused and open gin bottles leftover.

In addition, one in 10 venues are said to have at least 20 leftover bottles sitting in cellars or back bars.

Paragon Brands also said that the average loss in revenue from post-gin boom stock equalled £775 (US$974) per venue, totalling £4.56m (US$5.7m) of lost revenue nationwide.

The initiative will give bars the chance to deposit their old, open and unused, clear full-strength gins to the Paragon team, in exchange for a bottle of French gin G’Vine Floraison, Irish-born Dingle Gin and English gin Martin Miller’s.

Chris Jones, managing director of Paragon Brands, said: “Trends come and go, but the gin boom really took the industry by storm. Sadly, when the dust settled, bars were left with a fortune in unused stock.

“£1.9m is no small figure to have lying around, so we’ve launched The Big Gin Swap to help make a change for the on-trade.

“Whether it’s G’Vine, Dingle or Martin Miller’s Gin, we’re urging bars to dust off those old bottles of gin and replace them with a fresh new bottle from our premium gin range.

“It’s our mission to help bars truly love their gin range again. We look forward to swapping those leftover bottles with unique and great-tasting new gins.”

Bars can register on The Big Gin Swap website and also send bottles to the company’s offices in Manchester. Bottles must be at least 40% full and safely sealed.

Data from the Food & Drink Federation last year revealed that UK gin exports dropped by 12.4% in volume and by 9.6% in value to £305.3 million (US$378.1m) in the first half of 2023.

While the bubble may have burst in the UK, it’s a different story over in the US. The country is facing the prospect of a super-premium gin explosion.

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