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UK gin sales break £1bn for the first time

Brits are expected to drink 29 million litres of gin in 2015 with sales breaking £1 billion for the first time, up 25% since 2012.

Gin sales have broken the £1billion mark for the first time.

In what has been described as a “new dawn” for gin, research by Mintel shows that it is younger consumers driving the spirit’s growth, which was once considered a drink for older people carrying the dubious nickname of ‘mother’s ruin’.

Research carried out by Mintel for its 2015 report into the white spirit and RTD sector showed that two in five (42%) Brits aged 18-34 have drunk gin in the past 12 months, compared to just over a quarter (27%) of over-45s.

Its popularity within the millennial population and rise as a trendy, craft spirit has helped boost sales to more than £1bn for the first time in 2015 (£1.04bn), up by 25% since 2012 when sales stood at £829m.

Brits are expected to drink 29 million litres of gin in 2015, with one third (33%) having drunk it within the past year. Mintel forecasts that gin sales will continue to rise and reach £1.31 billion by 2020.

“The strong performance of gin continues to stand out within the spirits market, and is widely seen as the most sophisticated type of white spirit by category users”, said Chris Wisson, senior drinks analyst at Mintel.

“One of gin’s sobriquets is ‘Mother’s Ruin’ and the drink still has certain associations with older drinkers, contributing to it being likely to be seen as an older person’s drink and the least likely as a young person’s drink. However, our research indicates that gin is in fact now most likely to be drunk by younger consumers, suggesting that it has a chance to forge a dynamic image and move into even more innovative areas.”

Looking to other spirits categories, sales of vodka have increased by 8% over the past five years to reach £3.46 billion in 2015. It is still the most popular white spirit sold with sales accounting for 61% of the UK’s total white spirit market’s value. However rum has seen its popularity dwindle, with sales dropping by 6% to £411 million in 2015. Mintel forecasts that sales will sink further still in 2020 to £378 million.

“Vodka continues to dominate sales within the category and the beverage enjoys a number of favourable associations, namely its mixability, unisex appeal and value for money”, adds Wisson.

“While vodka and gin have thrived, white rum has found recent years altogether more challenging. Our research shows that white rum fails to stand out in a competitive spirits market and this is one of the likely reasons why it has struggled in recent years.”

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