WSTA declares 2016 the year of gin

08 December, 2016

This year has proved to be a record-breaking year for gin with end of year sales continuing to soar in the UK, according to the latest WSTA market report. 

Gin sales have grown more than any other spirit sold in UK pubs, bars and restaurants, the report says. The equivalent of 40 million bottles or 1.12bn G&Ts were sold. In the same period 40 new distilleries were opened in the UK.

For six consecutive quarters, on trade sales of gin have seen double-digit growth, outperforming every other spirits category. Sales in pubs, bars and restaurants in 12 months to 1/10/16 were up +19% on the same period last year, worth £619m.

Gin sales in the off trade over the past 12 were also up +13%, worth £437m. The white spirit broke the £1bn sales mark in the on-and-off trade for the first time in the UK in 2016, six months ahead of forecasts.

Since the first WSTA market report released in 2012, gin sales in the on trade have increased by £300m - the equivalent of an annual boost of £3,750 extra to every UK pub.

The report also claims three out of every four bottles of gin imported around the world are from the UK. British gin is now sold overseas in 139 countries around the world with America, Canada, Spain and Germany buying the most.

British gin exports to the US have risen by a 553% in the last decade. According to the HMRC, nearly 100 new distilleries have opened in the UK in two years. In 2010 there were only 116 distilleries in existence in the UK, according to HMRC.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “There are many reasons why people may not feel like celebrating 2016 but the WSTA are pleased to give you something happy to reflect on - 2016 can now be remembered as the ‘Great British Gin Take Off’.

“We hope that government supports our innovative gin makers who have driven an extraordinary increase in UK exports, up 166% since 2000. We would like to remind government that cutting excise duty boosts business and brings more money into the Treasury.

“Following the cut in spirits duty in the 2015 budget, spirits duty income increased on the previous year by £125m (+4.1%) from April 2015 to March 2016 inclusive.

“The UK spirit industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe with 76% of a bottle of spirits accounted for by tax, the 4th highest duty rate for spirits in the EU. Let’s make sure gin continues to boom in 2017.”

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