AS the gin category continues to go from strength to strength across the Scottish on-trade, there has been an influx of new gins available to consumers.
Drinks firm Hi-Spirits believes that this ever-growing number of products is becoming increasingly tricky to navigate, and has devised a ‘segmentation’ of the category to help on-trade customers select the right gins for their outlets.
Quoting the Wine and Spirits Trade Association, Hi-Spirits estimated that on-trade gin sales for the year to the end of January 2016 were worth £548 million – an 8% year-on-year increase compared to the previous year.
And according to figures from analyst Mintel, total gin sales in 2015 were worth £1 billion, and are expected to top £1.3bn by 2020.
The Hi-Spirits segmentation splits the gin category into three distinct ‘styles’, which the firm said can be replicated across the on-trade.
They are: ‘traditional dry gin’, such as the firm’s own Langley’s No 8 and Broker’s; ‘modern citrus gin’, which includes its Brooklyn and The King of Soho brands; and the ‘modern floral gin’, which includes No.209, Sloane’s and Blackwoods from the Hi-Spirits range.
Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said gin is now being sold by a “broader range of on-trade outlets than ever [before]”.
He added: “Mainstream pubs that might traditionally have stocked just one brand now offer a choice at different price points, while casual dining outlets routinely offer gin in simple serves and, increasingly, in cocktails.”
And so, with more and more ‘mainstream’ pubs beginning to offer a wider selection of gins for consumers to choose from, Bolton believes that this has led to increased pressure on ‘top-end’ outlets to ensure they have the best range for their customers.
“This in turn puts pressure on top-end bars to offer an even broader choice of gin brands in order to preserve their point of difference,” said Bolton.
“We’ve put considerable work into understanding our range, the different flavour profiles and the type of consumer each brand appeals to in order to support our on-trade customers.”