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Gin Spin: January Round-Up

Martin Miller's Gin
Tanqueray Idris Elba
Virtual Reality news gin spin diageo future trends
Beefeater gin News
Fever Tree
31/01/2017
Written by Gin Foundry

Gin Foundry takes a keen-eyed look at industry news to bring you a snapshot of the best bits the last month has had to offer.

The Great Gin Robbery

A Walsall freight yard fell victim to a raid in November, with thieves slashing their way into twelve trailers and helping themselves to £350k worth of booze, including 1404 cases of Bulldog Gin and 960 cases of Martin Millers.

Although occurring in 2016, the case didn’t come to light until mid-January, when West Midlands Police made an appeal to anyone who could offer information on the theft, asking “does anyone recall somebody they live with returning home after 3am on November 21 either very wet (as it had been raining) or with an unusual amount of alcohol?”.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Constable Karl Schild: k.schild@west-midlands.pnn.polive.uk.

Home Entertainment

Pull your cocktail shaker out and get that fondue on the boil, because according to Diageo’s ‘Futures’ trend report, we’re banishing our coats to the cupboard and embracing the indoors. The report states that ‘the home is turning into a place to create extraordinary experiences for friends and family.’ Alright, not the fondue then but cocktails at home are a must in 2017.

The drinks giant, which owns Gordon’s and Tanqueray, will look to appeal to a stay-at-home crowd – especially targeting virtual reality which, the report states, is expected to have 17 million active users by 2018. Could virtual distillery tours be a think of the future? Yes, most likely.

We’re curious to see how other brands (especially those without a virtual reality budget) will approach this. We suspect the amateur barman may up his game, so spirit brands would do well to make home shaking an easier endeavour, be that with the addition of recipes or packs of bitters/mixers with bottles. Hendrick’s innovative campaign in the Edition Hotels paved much of the way for how this might well be achieved too…

One thing’s for sure: we’re getting lazier. Just as Sipmith, ourselves and now East London Liquor Company have done with Deliveroo, brands should embrace this trend by signing up to a home delivery service to distribute their gins to the locally based, sofa-dwelling masses.

24 Carat Gold

Beefeater has unveiled a shiny new bottle for Beefeater 24. The bright red glass will certainly help the gin to stand out on shelves, and sets the gin apart from Beefeater Dry.

Beefeater 24 is the distillery’s offering to the super premium gin category, created by its Master Distiller, Desmond Payne. Payne, arguably one of the most influential figures in the industry, will celebrate 50 years as a Ginsmith this year, so we’re keen to see what else Pernod Ricard will do to mark such an occasion.

Seasonality is the New Black

Foraging for ingredients was all the rage in 2015, Barrel Ageing in 2016, but this year brands will move more and more towards seasonality as an angle.

Poetic License has kicked this off by releasing the first gin from its new series – the rarities. The Rarities Orange Blossom gin is a fruity, floral take on the category with a citrus finish and an overall sweet tone. Just a few hundred bottles will be made (hence the name…).

Dunnet Bay has also got in on the action, adding to their spring, summer, autumn and winter editions of Rock Rose with The Lassies Toast, a limited edition Burns Night gin packaged in a collectable red glass bottle. Just 250 bottles of this £34 gin will be released, so Rock Rose fans better act fast!

Fever Pitch

Reports at the end of January suggested that investors into Fever-Tree had trebled their money. The Telegraph reported that Fever-Tree’s stock was the best performing within London’s junior AIM market in 2016, and that overall its share price has leapt by over 645% since its 2014 launch. Meanwhile, City AM reports that analysts have –  for the fifth time since the start of 2016 – upgraded their forecasts for the firm.

A lot of Fever-Tree’s success comes from timing; they were amongst the first craft tonic brands to emerge and they did so with panache, delivering a natural, non-industrial product just before the words ‘craft,’ ‘small batch’ and ‘artisanal’ became go-to marketing slogans. That continued success comes from rolling with trends; Gin is still having its moment in the UK, but in America its the darker spirits that dominate. Seeing space to fill, Fever-Tree went all in on an accompanying product, releasing their Madagascan Cola in 2016.

Perhaps the most telling piece on the brand was from What Investment magazine, which spoke to William Meadon of the JP Morgan Claverhouse Invertment Trust. JP Morgan has tripledtheir investment, but has no intentions to sell; he says that Fever-Tree is far from its limit, with many, many areas for growth. This is helped both by the ongoing fashion for gin and the highly competitive margin it offers supermarkets.