The record-breaking figure is topped up by peak export highs of £516m, bringing the overall value of UK gin sales to £2.2bn.
As a result, gin sales have doubled in the past five years, according to the WSTA’s Market Report, which was published today (18 September).
UK consumers guzzled 38% more gin in the 12 months to June compared with the previous year, the report showed.
Surge in gin’s popularity
Rising sales are down to the surge in gin’s popularity, known as the ‘ginaissance’, with gin outperforming any other spirits sales in terms of sales growth.
“But despite gin proving it is just the tonic for UK business, the nation’s favourite spirit is set to take a hit if the Chancellor goes ahead with planned rises to alcohol duty in the Autumn Budget,” said the WSTA.
“Philip Hammond is planning a 3.4% duty rise in line with inflation that would undermine an ambitious industry looking to go global.”
For every 70cl bottle of gin at 40% ABV, £8.05 goes straight to the Treasury, said WSTA. “That’s 75% of an average price bottle of spirit is taken up by duty and VAT. Spirits paid £3.4bn in duty in 2017-18, accounting for 30% of all alcohol duty income.”
There is a fear that the rapid growth of UK gin distilleries could be hindered if Hammond raises duty.
New product launches
This year, gin performed exceptionally well thanks to a significant number of new product launches and the summer heatwave.
WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “Gin has proved itself to be just the tonic for the Government’s ambitions to grow exports of premium British products.
“On top of that, the gin boom in the UK has allowed our talented and innovative British distillers to invest and grow their businesses creating new jobs and boosting the British economy.
“If gin continues to grow at this rate, there’s no reason why the industry can’t set its sights higher, we could be talking about a £3bn gin empire by the end of 2020.”