Ginfographic 2017 / 18
Yes, it’s late, but it’s also glorious. Welcome to our Ginfographic survey! Last year, we decided to move our yearly foray into data analysis so that it could be a Spring time release, not just so that we could garner results from an entire year’s worth of answers but also because -and this is just between you and us – with Junipalooza Melbourne, Ginvent, Gin Kiosk‘s Christmas campaigns and, brand new for this year, Junipalooza Hamburg, well… we just haven’t had the time.
This year, a massive 3837 people answered the survey in full, though the question on how much people spend on a bottle of gin was kept to the UK only. We only used data from those who answered all 10 questions, using the 5 question answers on the base of the Gin Foundry homepage as a way of analysing if our readership’s Gin bias unduly skewed the results. When comparing blind answers gathered through survey partners to those of our readership its clear that because of our links to the gin community (and because our readership are, like us, massive gin nerds), the answers for how many bottles the average person owns is way higher the global average. Interestingly, this is the only real point where the data emerges as radically different, with drinking habits and opinions otherwise the same. We’ve tackled this further in the insight below too.
Thank you to all who took part in the survey – we really appreciate you taking the time. Your answers help us to create a bank of information for anyone looking to do research into the category and the insight it provides is invaluable to many in the Gin industry. We will keep doing it and keep putting it out there, for free, so that this can continue in years to come.
We’ve added some specific insight relating to each question here so that the results are placed in further context, but also, so that any interesting stat differences from country specific responses are brought to light too.
To download the Ginfographic 2017 / 18 in all its glory, click on the following link:
We’ve spoken at length about the collector mentality settling in with Gin enthusiasts in the Gin Annual and elsewhere, and this progression is showing no signs of slowing, with more bottles owned per person that ever before, and a clear shift over the past four years towards a majority of people now owning more than one bottle. Interestingly, when considered on their own, the US based answers are now also starting to reflect this – another sign that the gin market is rejuvenating over there too.
As mentioned above in the intro, the other reason we ask this question is to see who is answering this survey. It gives us a strong indication of the type of consumer taking part. We know that because of our audience and the way in which this survey is whipped around gin circles when the call to answer goes out it will always be skewed towards a more informed consumer, but informed doesn’t necessarily equate to spend. This also worth bearing in mind for the next question, too…
How much do you pay for gin?
The £40 cliff edge is real. It’s still there, and despite the audience who answered this survey owning an average of five bottles or more (which, when you stop to compare it to government stats that the average British person only drinks 0.5L of gin per year, is way over the norm), they are as likely to buy deep discount sub £20 gin than they are to fork out over £40 for it. If this isn’t further evidence that newbies to the market and those seeking to break that mould ought to think twice if they really want to achieve decent volume, it’s also a testament to how good a package and how compelling a proposition needs to be, in order to convert those sales when priced north of £40.
Is saying it’s a “craft” product enough to justify it? Well, no and here’s why…
Any guidelines of what craft means?
When it comes to criteria, there’s an overwhelming majority who think there ought to be guidelines. This majority grows year after year, too. When we first asked the question in 2015, it was 69%, last year 70% and this year 74.5%. Without clarity to define it, the term has lost much of its meaning and being “craft” is not really a useful term to educate consumers. Rather it has become a handy term to blur lines between big and small producers and to soften the edges on how something is made. It is, unfortunately, now a catch all term that too many hide behind when seeking to justify themselves without actually wanting to share detail as to why they feel their product has earned the moniker.
Is it (finally) time the industry comes together and attempt some soft, opt-in self regulation to begin the process? As commentators and enthusiasts, we think so and hope 2018 is the year it happens.
If “craft” holds little sway – what do people look for?
It seems that no matter how many more competitions are launched and how many awards there are, a vast majority of consumers just don’t care about them when it comes to assessing what’s good and not. That’s grown from 2015, where only 48% said that they didn’t look for it.
Could it be because of the sheer number of awards out there that bombard shoppers with the “winning” message to the point that it becomes a constant backdrop as opposed to a stand out statement? Could it be the “furnish all with a medal of some kind” approach that’s killing their relevancy (after all if everything is award winning, then nothing is)? Perhaps it may simply be that it doesn’t matter what the experts say and that bottle design and price point are still too important to shoppers… Either way, it’s a diminishing relevance for the 4th year in a row.
What’s your favourite tipple?
Globally, there’s no real change at the top of the charts, although, unsurprisingly given the innovation and investment going into the tonic sector, there has been an increase in love for the G&T over 2017, with the percentage going up from 62% the year before. The Negroni held strong while the Martini continues its four year steady decline in the Ginfographic rankings.
For those who love global differences in drinking habits, when the data is split into the respective countries the answers came from, UK drinkers reflect similar stats as the global average, while Australians only answered 60% in favour of the G&T, with a strong calling for the Negroni (17%). In the US, the G&T is still the favourite drink, but only garnering 40% of support, while the Martini comes in second with 27% of the votes.
What’s your number?
There’s been no real change in the preferred ratios either – with 1 part gin to 2 parts tonic remaining the preferred option and showing once again, that the old 1 part gin to 3 parts tonic as the standard “preferred” serve has long been dead (especially in the US, who answer 58% in favour of 1-2 ratios).
It’s not surprising the ratio is boozier either; with ever-weirder botanicals the talking point of many a Gin brand, their point is moot if they’re drowned out by a mixer, especially when the mixer brands themselves are all desperately moving away from Indian Tonic and releasing heavily flavoured tonics to pair up with gins. Expect more producers to push towards this ratio direction in the months to come too.
And which gin would you like?
Globally, the statistics have remained similar to 2016 here, with most expecting to be asked what gin they’d like. Still, this is a useful question to see how markets are evolving as the more gin becomes popular and the more that gin education flourishes, the more people expect to be asked. In 2015, 42% of people answered that they would only expect being asked in top end bars, which shifted dramatically in 2016 and increased a little once more last year to 67%.
The Australians are still not used to being asked however, with 54% stating that it’s a top end bar expectation and 7% answering that such a question was never expected at all. Compare this to those in the UK where a whopping 79% of people always expect to be asked. As a trend it seems this is going in one direction only so take note barkeeps, gone (or going) are the days where the interaction is not a conversation…!
Promiscuous purchasing based on looks or increased flavour knowledge?
Take the “Always” out of the equation here as between name checking a brand or the interaction of being asked which gin you want, most will always have asked for the gin they receive one way or another. It’s the what you see VS what you remember the flavour to be and what you know you want to taste that’s interesting here. Now more than ever, it is clear that to sell you need good shelf presence, with the percentage increasing year on year.
People buy with their eyes and the key learning for bars is that decluttering and careful curation alongside savvy placement is key for good stock rotation. Only time will tell if more table service will mean that people shift their habits from a focus on bottle design to naming conventions and signature serves – but that’s a can of worms for an entire article which we’ll tackle another time!
And what do you want more of then?
Last but not least – we can show you why predicting the future is so difficult… It seems gin fans just want more of everything, with a fairly even split across the board.
Interestingly, when divided into respective countries, the US favours barrel aged with 29% of their vote (compared to the UK with only 16% saying “rested” gin was their top choice). Meanwhile, Australians proved keen on barrel aged gin (23%), although Navy Strength was their top choice (26%). The UK opted for Fruit Infusions (26%) as their pick of the bunch, leaving the global outlook both evenly matched between all of the styles and giving producers quite a few options for where to direct future innovation.
To download the Ginfographic 2017 / 18 in all its glory,
click on the following link:
If you want to to continue your journey into super gin super-geekdom, meet the makers and find out more about the category as a whole; Join us in Tobacco Dock for Juniplaooza London on the 9th & 10th June!
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