The world of gin is changing rapidly, and it’s time to reflect on what we’ve learned so far about this spirit.
We’re going to look at some of the most interesting developments that have happened over the years. The pace at which gin has reinvented itself as a fashionable spirit is one of the most dramatic changes to have occurred in recent times.
End of the gin boom?
The UK is a longstanding barometer of gin trends, so its performance is particularly telling; total gin consumption was over 6m nine-litre cases in 2018. That figure is expected to rise to over 10m cases by 2023, according to the IWSR's data.
The UK is also the world's largest exporter of gin – at the beginning of 2018, there were 315 distilleries in the UK, more than double the number operating five years previous. And there's more good news: total global gin consumption is expected to rise 4.4% during the period 2018-2023, according to the IWSR's forecasts.
Total global gin consumption is expected to rise 4.4% during the period 2018-2023, according to the IWSR's forecasts.
Premium is king
Data from the wine, beer, and spirits sectors hint that post-pandemic imbibing is all about luxury and premium products. 2022 cocktail trends report notes that 50 per cent of bartenders globally report more customers opting for premium drinks.
Ranges are becoming fit for purpose
Drinkers always consolidate around good products and in a mature market less brands can exist at a large scale. This has a trickle-down effect and ultimately, most producers will stop having insane ranges of half a dozen gins and focus on 2 or 3. The net result is that there will be fewer permanently available expressions.
Ready to drink expansion
On-the-go gin-and-mixer drinks and cocktails (or “ready-to-drink”, as they're know in the trade) saw a meteoric rise in popularity in 2020 as more of us gathered outside. Rather than tailing off, this trend has continued on its trajectory with tonnes more cans, bottles and pouches being released in 2021. We can only imagine that this will continue into 2022 (and beyond). Whether for busy venues wanting time-saving serves, non-cocktail bars looking for an easy way to offer such drinks to customers, or established venues looking for exciting new products to showcase, expect to see a greater “ready-to-drink” choice in your favourite cocktail joint.
No and low alcohol
Everyone fully expects low- and no-alcohol products to continue in popularity.
Research from London's International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR) found that more than half (58 per cent) of consumers buying low/no products chose to switch to reduced alcohol products rather than going fully sober.
Sustainability has been a hot topic for a couple of years now and we see no sign of this slowing down. But with stark new warnings about climate change coming out of the COP26 conference in Glasgow in October, efforts seem to be ramping up. Think: more locally sourced botanicals and neutral spirits; energy-efficient distilling equipment and methods; distilleries generating their own power; increased use of lighter bottles and recyclable packaging material; and efforts to reduce and cleverly reuse waste products such as water and spent grain.
Drinks packaging and ecommerce
Expect changes in what we package our drinks in, both for delivery and on-trade, but also for the direct-to-consumer market. For example, sales of boxed wine soared during the first year of the pandemic. This can be attributed to consumers ordering in larger volumes during lockdown, but reports show that this trend has continued well into 2021. Wine retailer Majestic revealed that sales of wine in alternative packaging more than tripled this year. Think: magnums, half bottles, and bag-in-box wines.
What are we doing at The Only Way Is Gin?
We remain focused on a core range of quality products, without becoming distracted with unnecessary releases. In terms of sustainability, our distillery is set to open in Essex in 2022 to reduce the carbon footprint of our gin by the time it reaches you. Here, we will install 'green' equipment within the distillery, such as the water filtration system to avoid buying in containers of filtered water. Our packaging is constantly being reviewed to ensure it is a recyclable as it can be. We recently introduced bespoke packaging for our wholesale orders, reducing the need for unnecessary amounts of packaging. Follow our progress with the distillery and future gin releases on our socials @theonlywayisspirits
As we enter our second year of trading, we place ever more emphasis on sustainability as well as staying right on trend. We hope you continue to appreciate our efforts and enjoy our products as much as we do! To shop our gin just click HERE.