UK's love affair with gin sees sales hit an all-time high

Sarah Young
Friday 29 March 2019 12:22 GMT
Gin changes colour when mixer is added

Britain has seen a growing rise in popularity of gin, or “ginaissance”, in recent years with more bottles of the juniper-based drink being sold than ever before.

“Mother’s Ruin”, as the tipple was previously known, has proved so popular that a record 73m bottles of the drink were sold in 2018.

According to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), sales have seen a “staggering” boost”, breaking £2bn and almost doubling in the space of two years, between 2016-2018.

The figures also show that sales of gin in the first quarter of the last two years peaked in March, suggesting that it is a popular gift for Mother’s Day.

Between January and March 2017, gin sold in UK supermarkets and shops reached 6.4m bottles, of which 2.6m (41 per cent) were sold in March.

The same period in 2018 saw this number rise to 52 per cent of bottles being sold in March.

During the 12-week Christmas period in 2018, the figures also show that sales of gin were up by 40 per cent on the same time last year.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale says: “The truly staggering rise in gin sales shows that British gin is gaining more and more fans by the day.

“And we fully expect to see sales rise again in March this year, just as they did last year.

"It's high time gin's new status and reputation were celebrated and supported by Government, which should be offering more support for British gin exports and a less taxing duty regime, both of which fail to support our entrepreneurial and innovative distillers."

The report also reveals that there are now hundreds of different gin brands to choose from and a total of 361 distilleries making spirits in the UK, with 54 opening in 2018 – the equivalent of one a week.

In recent years, there has also been a rise in alternative flavours of the boozy drink, including pink gin, marshmallow gin, parma violet gin and even one that changes colour.

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