louise ryan the gin hub pernod ricard

Pernod's Louise Ryan

The Gin Hub: 'Market share the new measure of success'

15 September, 2020

Louise Ryan, managing director of Pernod Ricard’s Gin Hub, believes that market share can be the measurement of success for the company during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Gin Hub is the gin arm of spirits conglomerate Pernod Ricard which owns international brands including Beefeater, Monkey 47, Plymouth Gin and Malfy.

The impact of Covid-19 has seen Pernod’s sales drop 9.5% for FY20 and Ryan joined Drinks International via virtual call at the company’s recent financial results conference.

“Despite Covid’s effect on sales we gained market share across 40 countries over the past 12 months and I think market share will be the key measure of success for us going forward.”

The global spirits industry has been hit hard by the pandemic due to the closure of the on-trade for significant periods of time right across the world, which was only partly offset by the growth in sales in the off-trade.

Pernod’s most recent investment in the gin category came in March this year through Japanese brand Ki No Bi which has opened up some of the Asian market for the company.

“In emerging markets Brazil is one of our most receptive countries,” added Ryan. “Therefore it will continue to be a key focus for us and gin is still very underdeveloped as a category in Asia. We’ve seen great growth year-on-year in China even though it was heavily impacted by Covid in 2020.

“South Africa was also performing well before the pandemic but is probably the most severely hit market due to the total bans on alcohol sales.

“Obviously there’s still a lot of uncertainty given the ongoing circumstances but I see it as a short to mid-term challenge while the future prospects of the gin category are still very good.”

Ryan continued: “We’ve invested significantly over the past 12 months on the mergers and acquisitions front and we will continue to manage our active portfolio for the time being. Of course there will be opportunities with local brands struggling financially but right now we have a lot of opportunities ourselves with our own brands."

Despite financial difficulties, Beefeater recently expanded its RTD range to a more global reach which Ryan believes is a potentially key market for gin going forward.

“Convenience posses a big opportunity and the RTD category is very dynamic so we’ve got some new product development in the pipeline.”


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