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Gin sales expected to soar following a record-breaking Christmas

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s latest market report shows sales of gin in the UK hit a record high at Christmas and Mother’s Day was expected to see sales continue to soar.

Over 16 million bottles of gin, worth £413 million, were sold in the 12 weeks to the end of December. This an extra three and a half million bottles bought, up 28% in volume compared to 2016’s festive season, worth an extra £104 million.

The rapid growth in UK distilleries and the increasing number of gin brands which hit the market last year has helped 2017 break all previous records in both volume and value sales.

Britain’s love for the juniper-based spirit made gin a popular gift this Christmas along with a wide range of gin themed gifts, including gin baubles, gin advent calendars and gin glass wear.

The WSTA’s latest Market Report, published tomorrow (Monday) shows that in the whole of 2017 over 51 million bottles of gin, worth almost £1.4 billion, were sold in the UK, up 27% in volume, the equivalent of over nine and a half million more bottles than in 2016.

This is the equivalent of every adult in the UK buying a bottle of gin in 2017.

Across the board sales of gin in supermarkets and shops, pubs, bars and restaurants have beaten all previous sales recorded both annually and quarterly. The greatest growth was shown in supermarkets and shops in the 12 weeks to 30/12/17, when the value of gin sales grew a whopping 38% and volume sales by 28%, compared to the same period in 2016.

The bumper Christmas sales show there are no signs of Brits losing their thirst for the quintessentially British spirit.

Last year an IWSR Forecast Report projected that gin is expected to grow by 37.2% by 2021.

2017 was also a record-breaking year for British gin exports which broke the £500 million barrier, hitting £530 million in value sales.

If you add exports to sales at home, it adds up to over £1.9bn meaning gin is within touching distance of becoming a £2 billion industry in the UK.

Britain now boasts 315 distilleries in the UK – more than double the number that was operating across the country five years ago.

There are now well over 100 British gin brands on the market - gins come on the market so frequently the exact number is unknown. What we do know is that the number of gins now available in Britain has more than doubled since 2011.

Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, said: “We were amazed by the growth of gin in 2016, but 2017 sales of the quintessentially British spirit have surpassed all records again. At the WSTA we are constantly being asked what is the magic formula behind the growth in gin sales? It is a delightful combination of a quality British product steeped in history combined with skilful innovation by UK distillers who are producing a huge range of gins catering for the consumers’ increasingly sophisticated palettes. The versatility of gin with its diverse use of botanicals means there is now a gin out there for everyone. The popularity of giving gin as a gift means we are expecting sparkling sales for Mother’s Day.”

Earlier this month the Hayman family launched its new London distillery in Balham four miles from where the family’s first distillery opened in 1863.

Hayman’s gin is just one example of a quality British distiller, with a long history of gin making, which is turning the art of gin making into a visitor experience. James Hayman said:
“It has been a longstanding ambition for me, my sister Miranda and our father to bring the family distillery back to London – where our story first started over 150 years ago. It was important that the new look reflected our heritage and traditional distilling approach whilst also looking to the future with a more contemporary palate that catches the eye and creates real presence back of the bar. The new site provides a wonderful space from which we can share our story, educate, entertain and of course sample our range of True English Gins."