Between January and March 2017 gin sales reached 6.4 million bottles of which 2.6 million, 41%, of those bottles were sold in the month of March.
Last year during the same 12-week period 9 million bottles of gin were sold of which 4.7 million, 52%, of those flew off our shelves in March.
Sales of alcohol are traditionally slow in the first three months of the year, compared to the summer and the festive season, however there is a noticeable spike in sales in March according to data providers Nielsen.
The WSTA’s Market Report revealed gin hit another record high last year with the juniper-based spirit breaking £2 billion in annual sales for the first time.
The latest figures show that sales of gin over the 12-week Christmas period (up to 29/12/2018) were up 40% on the same period last year.
Add this to the latest value of British gin exports and the quintessentially British spirit was worth over £2.7 billion for the whole of 2018.
There are now hundreds of different gin brands to choose from, using a huge range of different botanicals and in the last year a surge of pink gins entering the market.
Two years ago, only a handful of brands were making flavoured gin, then last year the category was valued at £165 million, up a whopping 751% on the same period the previous year.
In 2018 HMRC records showed that the number of distilleries in England overtook distilleries registered in Scotland for the first time.
There are a total of 361 distilleries making spirits in the UK, with 54 opening in 2018 – the equivalent of one a week. 166 distilleries are in England, 160 in Scotland, 19 in Wales and 16 in Northern Ireland.
Spirit makers expect to see more bottles sold in March in 2019 than ever before along with a range of gin experiences and gin accessories.
Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said:
“The truly staggering rise in gin sales shows that British gin is gaining more and more fans by the day, with the latest expression of the UK’s fastest growing spirit pink gin. It’s high time gin’s new status and reputation were celebrated and supported by Government, which should be offering more support for British gin exports and a less taxing duty regime, both of which fail to support our entrepreneurial and innovative distillers.”