Global thirst for gin shows no sign of slowing, says WSTA

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Rising up: worldwide sales of British gin continue to soar
Rising up: worldwide sales of British gin continue to soar
British gin sales abroad in 2018 were up 15% on the previous year to £612m, according to new statistics from HMRC.

According to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), in 2016 export sales of gin broke the £500m mark for the first time and since then, the popularity of British gin has seen sales continue to soar.

Thanks to the interest in British gin, UK exports of the spirit are worth more than double the sales than in 2010, which reached just over £288m.

Britain sends more gin around the world than it does beef or beer, with gin sales overseas worth 28% more than beer sales.

The US remains the largest importer of UK gin, with sales to America worth £191m, up almost £13m on 2017. Australia has also caught on to the British gin phenomenon, spending £24.4m on British gin, twice as much as it did in 2017 when the Aussie consumers splashed out £12.2m.

British gin sales have also seen a surge in South Africa with £14.5m sold last year, up from £4.5m in 2017 – a massive 222% rise.

Support exporters

Switzerland is another area where the popularity of British gin is rapidly rising and is now worth £6.6m – up from £4.8m in 2017, growing by 38%.

By region, the EU is still by far the biggest destination for UK gin worth almost £290m, with the European market up 14% on 2017.

The WSTA is calling on the Government to support British gin exporters and allow them to capitalise on the thirst for all things ‘Brand Britain’ in established and emerging markets.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “The global thirst for British gin shows no sign of slowing and there is no doubt those overseas are drawn to the quality of gin made here in the UK.

“Gin is a quintessentially British spirit and perfect for anyone looking to tap into ‘Brand Britain’ overseas.

“Europe represents a huge market for British gin, therefore, it is essential the UK does not leave the EU without securing a deal that allows frictionless trade."

World's largest spirit exporter

He added: “It is hugely important the Government also secures free-trade deals with the rest of the world and we are encouraged by mutual recognition agreements already signed with countries like Australia and Switzerland.

“However, more must be done and quickly, so we maintain our position as the world’s largest spirits exporter and further boost the UK economy and provide more jobs.

“In a bid to help boost British gin exports further, the WSTA is running a programme of export missions showcasing some of our best spirit producers.

“The WSTA has recently been working with DIT (Department for International Trade) to showcase British gin taking our members on trade missions to Copenhagen, Madrid, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

“Domestic gin sales recorded in 2018 showed almost 66m bottles of gin, worth more than £1.9bn, were sold in 12 months, up 41% in volume on the same period the previous year.”

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails

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