Drinks List 2020

Smirnoff Red on-trade sales almost three-times higher than Gordon's Pink Gin

By Alice Leader contact

- Last updated on GMT

Stealing the crown: the MA's drink list explores the UK's top spirits
Stealing the crown: the MA's drink list explores the UK's top spirits

Related tags: Spirit, Vodka, Gin

With rumours that gin is close to eclipsing vodka as the UK’s biggest spirits category, The Morning Advertiser’s Drinks List reveals what exactly is going on behind the bar.

According to William Grant & Son’s Trending 2020 ​report, gin is now worth more than £2bn to the UK on-trade and is poised to finally push ahead of vodka as the UK’s biggest spirits category in 2020 if current growth rates are sustained.

However, as it stands vodka giant Smirnoff­ Red outshines its rivals in the spirits category, holding onto top spot in The Morning Advertiser's​ Drinks List for another year.

But how far exactly is gin away from stealing Smirnoff Red’s crown?

A big gap to fill

Despite retaining top spot, Smirnoff Red’s on-trade sales value dropped by 2.6% in 2019 but still outstrips Gordon’s Pink Gin significantly in volume sold.

While its volume dropped by 4.9% to 1,097,132 nine litre cases (9Lcs), Gordon’s Pink Gin still has a big gap to fill given it sold 379,8839Lcs in 2019.

Evidently, however, Gordon’s Pink Gin enjoyed a standout year, pushing Gordon’s to third from last year’s list. It saw a huge 197.6% rise in value which now stands at £380.4m.

The Morning Advertiser​'s Drinks List found the following as the top 10 best-selling spirit brands:

Brand

Volume (9Lcs)

% +/-

Value (£m)

% +/-

Smirnoff Red

1,097,132

-4.9

1,100

-2.6

Gordon's Pink Gin

379,883 

185.3

380.4

197.6

Gordon's

309,165

-2.4

305

0.8

Jagermeister

251,847

-16.7

263

-15.3

Captain Morgan Spiced

249,932

14.2

240.9

16.9

Jack Daniel's

238,656

-5.3

261.7

-2.3

The Famous Grouse

144,942

-1.9

130.9

-1.2

Bacardi Carta Blanca

136,608

-5.3

140

-1.9

Courvoisier VS

133,555

-4.8

135.8

-1.8

Baileys

118,638

-7.4

80.5

-2.8

Flourishing interest

CGA analysis shows that much of the flourishing interest in gin is being driven by pink and flavoured varieties. Pink gin sales more than doubled in the year to July 2019 according to CGA’s In the Pink ​category report.

In line with an on-trade sales increase, the number of British consumers drinking pink gin has more than doubled in the last year, from 2.2m to 5.1m.

CGA’s director of client services for drinks Jonny Jones said: “CGA’s research shows there is no end in sight to the remarkable revival of gin sales.

“From value brands to artisan distilleries the category is booming, to the point where consumers now drink gin out-of-home more often than vodka.

Not far behind

“They are becoming ever more adventurous and experimental in their purchases, which makes it vital for suppliers and operators alike to obtain the sharpest insights into the latest trends and market preferences,” Jones added.

It can be argued that the gin boom seems to be showing no sign of slowing any time soon, particularly with Gordon’s not far behind its sister variant.

Despite volume sales slipping 2.4% in 2019 - compared to a 6.7% increase in 2018 - gin sales have rocketed 56% by value in a year, according to CGA analysis.

So, will gin topple vodka in 2020? Not long now until all unravels.

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails

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