Gin drinkers seeking out ‘more complex’ flavours

MORE complex flavoured gins are predicted to be among the most popular products in the category moving forward, as consumers move away from ‘sweet and sickly’ products. 

That’s the view of spirits supplier Master of Malt, which has detected a shift in priorities among gin fans in recent months. 

The company said flavoured gins that draw those flavours from distilling rather than ‘synthetic flavours’ have been gaining ground, with both premium and super premium products gaining popularity. 

Master of Malt has predicted that distillers will place more importance on the provenance and sustainability of their ingredients as this becomes increasingly important to the wider public. 

The company reported an 87% increase in gin sales to trade accounts between 2021 and 2022 and although sales have declined a little in the first quarter of this year, it is still confident gin sales for the year overall will be in growth. 

However, other spirits categories were said to be eating into the gin sector, with flavoured and spiced rums and whiskeys all credited with taking the place of gins on some gantries. 

“I definitely think people are moving away from sweet and sickly, and we are seeing a lot more floral and spiced flavours selling, which were introduced later in the gin boom,” said Lisa Halstead, buyer at Master of Malt.

“I think as the original gin consumers grow and their palates change, they are open to more savoury and bitter flavours which with its vast range of different flavours, the gin category is definitely able to offer.”

The category is also adopting techniques from drinks such as whisky to produce a wider range of flavours, said Halstead.

“We are also seeing brands following a whisky and rum trend and moving into cask aged gin – although the category is still very small,” she said. 

“We have seen an influx of brands such as Glaswegin, Kyro and Eden Mill age gin in Irish whiskey, bourbon, rioja and even tequila casks.”