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UK gin accounts for 72% of EU market

UK-made gin represented nearly three quarters of the gin produced in the EU in 2017, the latest government figures have revealed, as the gin boom shows no sign of slowing.

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The stats published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week showed that UK sales now account for 72% of EU gin, with UK gin manufacturers seeing sales up 267% since 2009 to around £461m last year. The stats show sales growth has also accelerated since 2014, doubling from £230 million over the last three years.

The UK’s gin contribution dwarfed that of its nearest competitors, Spain (at 11%), the Netherlands (4%), France and Belgium (2% each).

Unsurprisingly, given Scotch’s domination of the market, UK manufacturers also dominated whisky sales, accounting for 81% of the whole EU market, at around £3.4bn, far ahead of the second largest producer, Spain, whose net £74 million accounted for around 2% of total production.

Beer had the largest manufacturers sales in the EU in 2017 at around £27.6 billion, with 19 countries recording it as its largest manufactured drink. Although this top spot in the UK was taken by soft drinks with £3.8 billion worth of sales, the UK was the second largest beer producer in Europe, behind Germany. 2017 saw sales grow 15% to £3.7 billion, from £3.2 billion in 2016 and boosted the contribution of the top three beer producing countries, top producer Germany and Spain in third place, with the three countries accounting for 42% of the total EU beer production.

Wine production across Europe accounted for £17.8 billion, after soft drinks at £19.3 billion.

The WSTA’s latest market report, published in September revealed that in the year ending 16 June 2018, Brits bought over 60 million bottles of gin worth over £1.6 billion, up 38% on the same period the previous year.

Gin is now responsible for 68% value growth within the entire UK spirits sector.

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