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Gin Sales Soar

Gin in supermarket
Supermarket Gin
Written by Olivier Ward

The figures are in and the sales numbers from the UK’s top 9 retailers* reveal that Gin sales grew to become the biggest growth driver in the Spirits category during 2015.

According to the latest annual and Christmas sales figures from IRI, Gin is now worth £420 million a year to British supermarkets, up 14.5% in sales (52 weeks to 31 Dec 2016) over the previous year. Perhaps even more encouragingly, it seems that the spirit has also managed to de-seasonalize itself away from the Summer surge of yesteryear and in the lead up to Christmas, gin sales reached their peak, up 18.3% (12 weeks to 31 Dec 2016) over the same period in 2015, putting £136 million in retailers’ tills over the festive period.

Unsurprisingly, where there is a boom in Gin, there will also be a boom in tonic and indeed, a corresponding rise in sales of tonic water suggests that consumers continue to favour drinking their gin in a G&T, rather than combining the spirit with other mixers. In 2016, sales of tonic water reached £98 million, up 12% over the previous year, compared to a rise of 5.2% for other mixers. The 12-week period to Christmas saw 13% sales growth, with a third of all tonic water (£28 million) sold during this period.

While Gin sales are rising fast, it’s worth seeing these statistics in context – Vodka, Whisky and Brandy have held their own over the past year and remain much larger spirit categories, even if they are not growing at the same rate. Whisk(e)y remains the favourite spirit of choice for British supermarket shoppers, but only grew by just 0.4% in 2016 (to £1 billion – so over twice as much as Gin), while Vodka also grew by 0.4% – to £784 million. Supermarkets also saw strong (+8%) sales growth from both dark and spiced Rum.

For those of you who like us, are still feeling the aftermath of an indulgent Christmas season – it seems like you are not alone… Beers, Wines and Spirits in total grew 3% in the 12 weeks ending 31 Dec 2016 (compared to the same period in 2015) with sales of £3.7 billion. 

*(The Top 9 retailers are: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Co-Op Food, M&S Food, Iceland and Ocado)

More data and other insights can be found at IRI Retail Advantage: www.IRIworldwide.com.

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