Speaking to The Morning Advertiser, the fifth generation family owners said that the distillery remained focused on making “very traditional English gin” based on its 150-year old, two-day distillation process, and would not be tipping its toes into the pink gin category.
“We make a very traditional English gin so, from our point of view, we have no intention of making a pink gin,” said James Hayman. “It doesn't really fit with how we want to approach the market. We want to focus on the gin drinker who wants to really understand the drink and the category.”
Pink gin has enjoyed huge success within the overall gin category, with data insight experts CGA reporting that value sales are up by more than 1,500%. However, Hayman’s insisted that more traditional, high-quality gins have a greater longevity and better future prospects.
“There will always be trends within a category that come and go,” added Miranda Hayman. “We don't feel that the more traditional side of gin will fade away. People have bought into drinking a good gin and tonic and they are still going to enjoy that in 10 years' time.”
Buoyed by the continued growth of the gin sector, earlier this year Hayman’s moved into a new facility in Balham, south London, enabling a tripling of capacity. The siblings welcomed the continued growth and innovation within the category, pointing to the added “theatre” of gin in the on-trade as a key factor in improving the drink’s reputation.
“We have been making gin for 150 years, and we've really embraced what has happened in the gin category in the past few years,” James said. “It’s been really refreshing to see and has helped to drive the category forward.
“People want to know what is in their drinks now and, as a result, there is a lot more transparency,” Miranda said. “The garnish and presentation of the gin and tonic has also improved hugely in the past few years, which has added a real theatre to making it.
“Fifteen years ago, you'd go to a pub and order a gin and tonic and get it served from an optic in an unbranded glass, and it wouldn't be delivered in a very engaging way,” James added.
What does the future hold?
The distillery also offered its views on where it saw the future of gin, predicting that the category would peak and level off but remain popular.
James said: “Where is gin today? It's still growing. Is it going to keep growing at the same rates we have seen over the past few years? Maybe not.
“For now, we are just enjoying where gin is at this moment in time. More and more people are still discovering it and there are a lot of distilleries out there doing a great job of trying to explain to people exactly what the drink is and which botanicals go into making it.”
“I don't think gin will ever go back to where it was say 20 years ago,” Miranda added. “It will probably peak and level out at some point, but I think there will always be a real fondness for it as our national drink.”