The Gin boom in the UK: What’s it all about?

Gin sales in the UK have gone up by 12 percent over the past one year meaning that sales from spirits are earning the Treasury more revenue compared to the beer which has never happened before. According to statistics, 40 million bottles of spirits were sold in the UK last year which shows that the number of cocktail drinkers has significantly increased in the country. But perhaps this is also due to drinking habits changing as statistics indicate that gin sales have gone up compared to other spirits and a further increase in gin brands since 2010. In fact, the number of gin brands has doubled from 37 to over 80 brands.

The Gin boom in the UK: What’s it all about?

Last year, British drinkers took 12 percent more gin while duties from the sale of beer remained flat despite the craft beer boom. Tax revenues collected from spirits such as gin and whiskey, went up by 7 percent in the 2016-17 tax year to 3.37 billion Pounds while that of beer rose by just 1 percent to 3.32 billion Pounds. However, Treasury collects from wine more tax revenues than either spirits or beer. Wine paid nearly 4.17 billion Pounds in tax revenues the same year which is a 5 percent increase. For every gin priced at 13.66 Pounds, 10.33 Pounds goes to the Treasury in VAT and duty compared with the 2.48 Pounds collected from a bottle of wine priced at 5.56 Pounds or the 44p that the Treasury gets from a bottle of beer priced at 73p.



Growth Of The Industry

Standard bars and pubs are expanding by offering more gin, with many other gin themed establishments opening perhaps to cash in on the gin boom. For many years, the clear spirit has never sold more than vodka but surprisingly it has found new popularity due to inspiration from a James Bond and Downton Abbey vintage revival, according to experts. Gin is a versatile product with many distillers adding some new and unusual flavorings to differentiate themselves from other spirit producing companies like whiskey. The gin boom is showing no signs of abating as the industry continues to experience tremendous growth. Many years ago, a product such as an artisan gin was little known but today there are several different premium gins available on the menu. Foreign drinkers, especially from America, are also importing gin from the UK in large volumes which are expected to increase in the coming days.



Equally, the number of spirit producing companies has also significantly gone up owing to the gin boom in the UK, with 40 new ones opening in the last year. This is double the number of spirit producers that existed in the year 2012. The increase in revenue from spirits can also be attributed to a 2016 spirit duty freeze including several government measures aimed at supporting the industry to invest and grow but a 3.9 percent duty rise announced in March could affect the sales this year and also threaten the industry’s ability grow, invest and export according to stakeholders in the industry. Duties collected from spirits in the United Kingdom are among the highest in Europe, only coming fourth after Finland, Ireland, and Sweden.