Eight new pink gin launches

The pink gin category has grown rapidly in recent months, with big players Diageo and Pernod Ricard both wading into the market. We round up the newcomers contributing to the pink gin craze.

Pink gin has come along way from its beginnings as a simple cocktail made popular in mid-19th century Britain. Traditionally a drink consisting of gin with a dash of Angostura bitters, garnished with lemon rind, it has now also a term used to describe a category of gin itself.

Particularly popular in Spain where the market for flavoured and coloured gins is vast, pink gin was once produced by a handful of UK producers such as Edgerton and Pinkster, which launched in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

In addition, a selection of brands also released pink expressions, for example Chase, Greenall’s, Burleighs, Eden Mill, Warner Edwards and Slingsby, while Beam Suntory’s Larios, the best-selling gin brand in Spain, brought its pink gin to the UK in 2016. 

While pink-hued gin liqueurs, such as those made by Edinburgh and Lidl’s Hortus, have proved popular, the number of pink gins on the market has grown considerably in the past six months, influenced by big players Diageo and Pernod Ricard entering the category.

Speaking to the drinks business earlier this year, co-founder of Pinkster Will Holt believes the recent launches are “a positive thing for pink gin”.

He added: “I think this recent investment has established pink gin as a proper sub-category when it wasn’t before. It now has financial muscle behind it. Now there’s desire from the on-trade to have a pink gin in their portfolio”.

Holt drew attention to the different price points of brands entering the category, with ‘premium’ Pinkster retailing for £35 for 70cl, compared to Gordon’s pink at £14 and Beefeater pink at £20.

While some may feel it is all about the colour, Holt believes that consumers are choosing pink gin for its flavour profile too.

He told db: “A bar that we work with told me that a customer came in and asked for a pink gin. They were given one, but later called over the waiter to inform him that this wasn’t the one they usually had. Afterwards, they were served a Pinkster and they recognised the taste,” said Holt.

Mixer brands also haven’t shied away from the colour, with Fever-Tree producing a pink aromatic angostura bark tonic water and Fentimans making a pink grapefruit tonic water.

Scroll through to see the recent entries to the pink gin category.

A more in-depth analysis of the recent high profile gin launches, and their effect on the market, will appear in the July issue of the drinks business magazine. 

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