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Millennials are driving growth in premium gin sector

Millennials may be drinking less than their predecessors, but a new report from Beefeater Gin claims that young professionals’ obsession with social media is driving growth in the premium gin sector.

The rise of social media in the hospitality industry means millennials are more tuned-in to premium spirits labels.

The study, by professor Richard E. Ocejo and author Chantal Martineau, was commissioned by the Pernod Ricard-owned gin brand to mark master distiller Desmond Payne’s 50 years in the industry.

Although total alcohol consumption fell in 2016, global sales of spirits grew by 4.4%. The report claims that higher benchmarks of quality, a growth in bartender salaries, and the rise of social media in the hospitality industry have all helped to boost the global gin market, with young people seeking out “authentic” labels.

“What we found most fascinating was how interconnected cocktail cultures are in these countries,” said Ocejo. “Pretty much no one operates in a vacuum, and sharing and influence are the norm.”

The report also showed that bartenders and mixologists are gaining greater respect, with working behind a bar now seen as a “viable career option.”

Top bartenders can earn more than £170,000 per year, according to the study, which was compiled using a mix of interviews with bartenders and bar owners around the world, as well as country-specific data.

Scores of gin brands and bars have benefitted from well executed social media strategies, encouraging followers to produce their own brand-related content to boost sales and raise awareness.

For example, in 2015 premium brand D1 London Gin partnered with several Hong Kong bars to offer free cocktails to Instagram users who promoted drinks made with the high-end spirit on their personal accounts.

Payne added: “Over the past fifty years I have seen many false starts to a resurgent cocktail scene, but now the wait is finally over and, boy, the wait has been worth it. In every city I visit around the world, in the most unlikely of places, I am being continually surprised by the sheer brilliance, creativity and dedication of cocktail bartenders.”

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