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On The Heels Of Hendrick’s, Boutique Gin Brands Make Rapid Gains

December 13, 2016

Though the overall premium gin segment remains sluggish in the U.S., the category’s high end is on the rise.The premiumization trend has been driven largely by the trailblazing success of William Grant & Sons’ super-premium Hendrick’s brand, which has long traded on its craft-like positioning and quirky advertising approach. The Impact “Hot Brand” was up 19.5% to nearly 300,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank, and its consistent double-digit progress has helped pave the way for an influx of boutique and craft players.

“We’ve gone to the shelf and seen the hundreds of new competitors that have come out over the course over the last few years in the premium and super-premium gin category. It’s very highly competitive,” Jonathan Yusen, William Grant & Sons’ president and managing director for North America, recently told SND. “That level of engagement has been driven by the craft movement and the opening of many distilleries, but also the resurgence of the high-end gin category, and Hendrick’s has played a large role in that resurgence.”

Among the rising competitors are fast-growing U.K. imports such as Proximo’s Boodles label and Quintessential Brands’ Greenall’s gin. Retailing at around $24, Boodles has put the emphasis on its country of origin with the tagline “Proper British Gin,” which helped grow the brand 25% to 36,000 cases last year. Greenall’s (around $18), has also performed well, rising 21% to 27,000 cases.

Also making marked gains is Pernod Ricard’s Plymouth brand, which plays in the $30-$35 range, and Cognac Ferrand’s Citadelle, a French label whose core offering retails at $25. Likewise, Reformed Spirits’ Martin Miller’s range, which hails from London, is performing notably well, offering its core gin ($28) and a higher-proof Westbourne Strength label ($35), as well as recently launching 9 Moons, a single-cask-aged limited edition. Plymouth, Citadelle and Martin Miller’s all achieved double-digit growth last year, with volumes for each ranging from 30,000 to 35,000 cases. —Christina Jelski

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