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WSTA hails ‘year of gin’

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has hailed 2016 as the “Year of Gin” after the category’s stunning successes at home and abroad.

The Optimist - Aviation Gin & TonicThis October the trade body reported that exports of gin had grown 166% by value since 2000 and today represent 11% of all spirits exports from the UK.

Domestically sales passed the £1 billion mark in October and strong sales have continued as the year comes to a close.

As laid out in the WSTA’s latest ‘Market Report’, 283,000 hectolitres of gin – the equivalent of 40 million bottles – have been sold across all channels in the UK in 2016. The trade body calculated that that amount of gin amounted to 1.12 billion gin & tonics consumed over the past year.

Sales were higher in the on-trade, with sales over the last 12 months (to 1 October) up 19% by value on the same period in 2015, and now worth £619m.

Sales by value in the off-trade were not too far behind however and rose 13% in the 12 months to 5 November to a total of £437m.

The category has broken through the £1bn barrier, not just for the first time but six months ahead of forecasts – such has been the soaring popularity of the spirit.

Gin has seen six consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in the on-trade – the best performance of any spirit category.

Since the WSTA began releasing its Market Report in 2012, gin sales in the UK on-trade have increased by £300m – an annual boost of £3,750 to every pub in the country. Sales in the off-trade have grown 68% since 2012.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, commented: We hope that government supports our innovative gin makers who have driven an extraordinary increase in UK exports, up 166% since 2000.

“We would like to remind government that cutting excise duty boosts business and brings more money into the Treasury.

“Following the cut in spirits duty in the 2015 budget, spirits duty income increased on the previous year by £125m (+4.1%) from April 2015 to March 2016 inclusive.

“The UK spirit industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe with 76% of a bottle of spirits accounted for by tax, the 4th highest duty rate for spirits in the EU.

“Let’s make sure gin continues to boom in 2017.”

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