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English gin grows in western Europe, says Euromonitor

Published:  28 October, 2014

English gin consumption has been dominated primarily by the US, Spain and the UK, but Euromonitor is beginning to see signs of change as the product becomes more popular in Western Europe.

The three core markets, which exclude consumption in India because it is an entirely locally branded economy, account for 66% of the volume sales globally of English gin. Also the US, Spain and the UK were the only markets that broke the six million litre consumption barrier in 2013, according to senior alcoholic drinks analyst Jeremy Cunnington at Euromonitor.

Within the core markets "there has been a well-established trend towards the rising popularity of super-premium and premium gins," according to the Euromonitor report. Overall, the core markets are not seeing huge growth in consumption, but they are experiencing a diversification of producers with consumption shifting away from big brands to more provincial or higher end products.

The rise in consumption of gin within Portugal isn't too surprising due to its close proximity to Spain. However, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Italy are also seeing consumption growth of the English tipple.

Main factors that are contributing to growth according to Euromonitor include the growing premiumisation of the 'craft movement', the rise of the cocktail culture sweeping larger metropolitan cities across Europe, younger consumers in their late twenties with growing incomes looking for more provincial products and companies looking for growth opportunities outside their traditional markets.  

SIPSMITH London Dry Gin

According to Euromonitor's report, English gin has had some healthy success in Belgium. According to the report, the "popularity of premium and super-premium products has exploded" there. "Consumers feeling better off [in Belgium] due to a house price boom have been willing to trade up in a move away from their traditional aperitif, champagne. Gin has been the main beneficiary."

Both large and small producers in England are trying to capitalise on the current gin craze.  Sipsmith, a small craft London-based distiller, has just moved to a larger facility in Chiswick, which is now open for tours and tastings. Their tastings and tours have been in such high demand they opened earlier than they had planned. Bombay Sapphire has just opened a massive tourist centre at the Laverstoke Mill distillery, which was created by famous designer Thomas Heatherwicke.

Both France and the Nordic countries have still yet to succumbed to the gin craze and offer another opportunity of growth for English gin according to Euromonitor.