Gin, a tonic to the spirits sector

Gin is flourishing in the spirits sector, a trade summit heard this week—and there are no signs of an end to the trend.

CGA Strategy data has charted the stellar rise of gin over the last few years, and its commercial director Graeme Loudon told the Morning Advertiser’s Future Trends: Spirits event this week that it was continuing to diversify. With more and more new brands and distilleries launching, variety has mushroomed, he said. “What we have now is a very promiscuous gin consumer… there’s so much more choice out there.”

Amid all that choice, the challenge for distilleries, suppliers and bar operators alike is to find distinctive points of appeal—and that often comes down to service and little touches like garnishes and glasses. “How do you as a brand stand out? I think it comes down to signature serve… you want an experience when you order that gin and tonic, said Louden.” Bars and pubs should offer different gins and tonics and be able to help their customers enjoy the variety, he suggested.

Other speakers at the summit agreed about the need to entertain and educate customers. “People want to be engaged—our consumers want to know more,” said mixologist Sarah Mitchell. They suggested that there was still room for the gin category to grow further, but only if those involved can preserve quality and authenticity. “With so many new brands coming into the market I feel it’s continuing to grow but just at a slower rate,” said Louden.