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Gin suffers global decline

The so-called revival of the gin category has been overstated, according to latest figures.

According to Euromonitor International, gin suffered a 2% volume decline globally in 2011 and the rate of growth is expected to remain flat until 2016.

Spiros Malandrakis, alcoholic drinks analyst at Euromonitor, said the “much-vaunted great leap forward is apparently yet to come”.

The majority of sales came in the US, while growth in the UK market slowed to 2% after a relative upsurge in 2010.

Sales in India fell 5% in volume terms in 2011, though Malandrakis attributed this to the trend towards switching from local to branded products in the country.

He also claimed that gin has failed to capture the imagination of the country’s emerging, younger drinkers due to its lack of fashionable associations.

“Gin has not dazzled the all-important urban youth and hence has continued to mainly focus on low-income, heavy-drinking consumers in western and southern India,” he said.

Malandrakis added that Euromonitor expects volume growth in India to “remain anorexic at best or face a further haemorrhage.“

If the category is to seek growth, Malandrakis suggests that emerging markets may be the answer, though these should be approached with an open mind regarding flavour profiles and developing gins for unsophisticated palates.

“Providing more accessible products for less sophisticated palates should not be seen as taboo,” he said.

“If Hoxton Gin’s proposition actually works, perhaps more irreverent launches should follow.”

Malandrakis also warned producers off trying to push a luxury image for their premium gin products.

“Taking into account the still precarious state of the vast majority of western markets should also be part of the equation,” he opined.

“After all, gin’s affordability and humble roots are what made it popular in the first place.”

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