The rise of pink gin

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

In the pink: a multitude of spirit brands have launched flavoured gin variants in recent years (image: warrengoldswain)
In the pink: a multitude of spirit brands have launched flavoured gin variants in recent years (image: warrengoldswain)
Gin is still one of the nation’s favourite spirits but flavoured versions of ‘mother’s ruin’ are also proving to be popular.

According to data experts CGA, value sales of pink gin is up by a huge 1,779% and volume has soared by 2,194% (moving annual total to 24 February 2018).

It said with the category effectively being driven largely by standard variants such as Gordon's Pink, volume has grown ahead of value and the average price per serve has dropped to £3.03 (down 18.1%).

Some 11% of gin stockists now have a pink gin in the on-trade and 2.2m UK consumers drink pink gin brands.

CGA commercial director Graeme Loudon said: “Wit the gin market continuing to go from strength to strength, the flavoured gin market is looking to try and tap into the opportunity with pink gin being the flavour with most traction.

“Currently, there have been a number of new product launches within this category this year, driving volume and distribution and, as a result, more than one in 10 outlets now stock pink gin.

“The pink gin consumers are slightly younger, with a higher female bias that the average gin drinker and there are now more than 2.2m pink gin consumers in the UK.

“This category has plenty of headroom still to aim at in the on-trade, so expect growth to continue over the next few years and for the success of the category to spawn other flavours of gin to come to market, we have already seen the launch of an orange gin and a gin that changes colour.

“The spectrum of flavour possibilities in this category is huge and the burgeoning tonic market is an excellent place to support through flavoured mixers, which complement gin.”

Pink launches

Diageo launched Gordon’s Premium Pink Distilled into pubs in September​ last year, aiming to shake up the thriving gin category.

A spokesperson for the spirits giant predicted the future of pink gin: “This is going to be the summer of fruit gins. The gin craze has seen an explosion in the popularity of all styles of gin over the past few years but, more recently, there has been an increase in the popularity of gins, specifically infused with fruits, like Gordon’s Pink (infused with strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants).

“Gordon’s Pink was the biggest spirits launch in the on-trade in the past 10 years (according to CGA moving annual total to 19 May 2018), so we expect to see lots of pink G&Ts going out in pub gardens everywhere this summer.”

Rivalling Gordon’s was Beefeater Pink, which was launched by Pernod Ricard in February​ this year.

The new addition to Beefeater’s portfolio followed the success of the brand’s Beefeater 24 and was the first innovation to be launched by The Gin Hub, which is a new, stand-alone entity that aims to bring together three of Pernod Ricard’s gin brands under one roof – Beefeater, Plymouth and Seagram’s gin.

Pinkster Gin was created in 2013 and its base is created with five botanicals before getting its pink glow from raspberries.

Rosy hue

Quintessential Brands-owned gin arm Greenall’s introduced its Wild Berry variant in 2014 alongside its Sloe Gin – the first new additions to the range for more than 250 years.

The inspiration for Wild Berry came from blackberries growing in English hedgerows, combined with raspberries, which were infused in Greenall’s Gin in a bid to give a vibrant, fruity taste.

In the same year, Warner Edwards launched its rhubarb gin. A spirit that uses a crop of rhubarb, originally grown in the kitchen garden of Buckingham Palace during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Also in 2014, Edinburgh Gin added a rhubarb and ginger variant to its range of gin liqueurs, which features flavours native to Scotland, including raspberry and elderflower varieties.

Rhubarb and ginger was also a new flavour for Whitley Neill four years ago. The brand also has a raspberry option, which at 43% ABV, packs a punch but balances juniper with sweet raspberry.

Originally released as a limited edition in November 2015, Slingsby made its rhubarb variant a permanent part of its range.

Using its London dry as a base, Slingsby add a separate rhubarb distillate before blending with water, mixing it and bottling at 40% ABV.

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails

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