A colourful future ahead

Popularity of coloured and flavoured gins to rise

THOSE predicting that the drinks industry had hit ‘peak gin’ have had to eat their words of late as the spirit’s growth refuses to relent.

Best Bar None Nite Zone Glasgow Christmas 2019

Doing exactly the opposite of slowing down, the category was revealed to have grown to be worth more than whisk(e)y and rum in the Scottish on-trade, according to CGA data; and, if the sales trajectory continues, it may not be long before gin displaces vodka as the country’s top-selling spirit.

And with coloured (chiefly pink) and flavoured gins specifically proceeding to sell apace, drinks firms told SLTN the category is only going to become more vibrant.

“Some think the gin boom is coming to an end, but we will most certainly continue to see strong growth in both the off and on-trade,” said Ben Stewart, director of UK sales at Darnley’s Gin parent company, Wemyss Malts.

“NPD (new product development)continues to drive the category forward and the innovation from distillers matched with the growing curiosity from the consumer will see more complex flavours emerge to attract the adventurous consumers out there.”

Alisha Goodwin, brand manager for Ben Lomond Gin at Loch Lomond Group, also expects gin’s growth to persist, particularly amongst the flavoured segment of the category.

“Sales figures suggest that the popularity of premium gins continues to rise, and innovative botanicals used as ingredients will keep pulling customers in,” she said.

“Flavoured gins and gin liqueurs are showing exponential growth in the market, with younger experimental gin drinkers leading these trends.

“Offer a variety of these spirits with mixers, such as lemonade and flavoured tonics, to further entice the younger drinking market and assist in maintaining excitement in the category.”

To take further advantage of the ever-broadening selection of gins available, operators should look to stock an assortment of the spirit that will tick all the boxes for their customers, stated Goodwin.

“From different flavour profiles to a variety of mixers, a wide range of gins will encourage sales,” she said.

The rising prominence of pink and other flavoured varieties “reflects the fact that consumers are now at ease with the gin category and are ready to experiment” within it, according to Poppy Croft, marketing manager at Hi-Spirits, distributor of gin brands The King of Soho and Blackwoods.

She added: “Flavoured gins are helping sustain the growth of the category, enabling consumers to continue to explore and enjoy a range of gins, and with pink and rosé generally in vogue, there has been a focus on gins in this style across the summer.”

On the other hand, Matthew Gammell, co-founder and head distiller at Pickering’s Gin, stated that classic juniper-forward gins could perform better in the coming months.

He said: “Flavoured gins and liqueurs have had a real boom in the last year as consumers appear to want more variety when it comes to their gin.

“However, there seems to be more awareness over the difference between flavoured liqueurs versus full-strength gins. As such, we think the way in which consumers drink gin will start to shift back towards more classic serves with full-strength gins stealing the limelight once more.”

Time to take G&Ts to the next level

There’s no reason why the traditional and much-loved G&T can’t get consumers just as excited as the all-singing all-dancing cocktails.

Aside from stocking the best variety of gins, operators should be looking at the best quality mixers and creative presentation.

McQueen Gin.

A gin and tonic menu, with a distinctive visually-appealing serve for each gin brand, works well as part of a broader cocktail list, appealing to customers looking to try interesting and innovative flavours.

Hi-Spirits.

Innovation is important within the G&T category in order to keep consumers interested and to continue driving the category forward.

Franklin & Sons.

We recommend having appropriate glasses for G&Ts so that the drink can be nosed as well as tasted. Large ice cubes are a must. Introduce a little theatre, as well as maintaining the effervescence in the tonic by carefully pouring the tonic over a bar spoon – and make sure the tonic suits the gin in question and is well-chilled.

Brockmans Gin.