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Super-Premium Brands Take Center Stage In The Gin Category

May 18, 2020

While overall gin volume has been on the decline in the U.S. over the long term, slipping 0.5% to 9.2 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank, upscale brands continue to demonstrate rapid growth. In fact, gin has consistently been among the spirits enjoying the biggest off-premise gains in recent weeks.

Gin’s super-premium segment ($20 a 750-ml. and above) achieved a 36.7% share of the U.S. market last year, up from 27.5% just five years ago. “While the overall gin category may be flat in the U.S., growth is coming from the super-premium sector and we’re right there in the conversation,” says Paige Parness, senior brand manager for Hendrick’s at William Grant & Sons.

Leading the super-premium segment in the U.S. is Diageo-owned Tanqueray at nearly 1.4 million cases. While the brand was flat last year, its volume jumped 23% in Nielsen channels in the 13 weeks through April 18. Bacardi’s Bombay Sapphire was up 25% in Nielsen data covering the same period, building on a 2019 performance in which it grew by 3.5% to 980,000 cases, according to Impact Databank. “Premium and super-premium gin is experiencing growth in the United States, and last year Bombay Sapphire drove 59% of the value growth in the total gin category,” says Natasha Curtin, vice president of global marketing for Bombay Sapphire.

Hendrick’s has also kept climbing amid the Covid-19 crisis, leaping 46% in Nielsen channels in the 13 weeks through April 18. New York, California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Texas are among Hendrick’s top markets, though the brand is dynamic across the U.S.

Davos Brands’ Aviation Gin has shown strong growth since 2015, topping 50,000 cases last year. Aviation is among a wave of rapidly emerging super-premium entries that also include Proximo-owned Boodles, up 6.5% to 55,000 cases; Maison Ferrand’s Citadelle, which jumped 22% to 48,000 cases; and Martin Miller’s, owned by Spain’s Zamora Co., which rose 5% to 37,000 cases.

Pernod Ricard has also targeted the super-premium segment with its Plymouth label, while augmenting its range with newer players like Malfy and Monkey 47. Elsewhere in gin’s upscale tier, Brown-Forman’s Fords, 3 Badge Beverage Corp’s Uncle Val’s, Taub Family Cos’ Drumshanbo, and Samson & Surrey’s Bluecoat all grew by over 10% last year. Of those, Drumshanbo led the way in percentage growth terms, up nearly 60% to 30,000 cases, only two years after its launch.—Shane English

U.S.Leading Super-Premium Gin Brands1 (thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Brand2 Company 2018 2019 Percent
Change2
Tanqueray Diageo North America 1,385 1,385
Bombay Sapphire Bacardi USA 946 980 3.5%
Hendrick’s William Grant & Sons USA 440 472 7.3%
Boodles Proximo Spirits 52 55 6.5%
Aviation Davos Brands 27 53 95.3%
Citadelle Maison Ferrand USA 39 48 22.0%
1 At least $20 per 750-ml.
2 Based on unrounded dataSource: IMPACT DATABANK © 2020
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