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Top Gin Players Resilient As Category Returns To Growth

June 1, 2021

Despite the widespread on-premise closures throughout the U.S. in 2020, gin marketers successfully pivoted and the category returned to growth, bumping up 2.5% to reach just under 9.3 million cases, according to Impact Databank. The largest 10 brands in the category did even better, growing by nearly 4% to over 7.4 million cases. Gains were driven largely by the four biggest brands, which posted growth ranging from 4% to over 10%.

Leading the pack is Pernod Ricard-owned Seagram’s at nearly 1.9 million cases in the U.S. The affordably priced brand was up 4.7%, reversing a multi-year decline. Pernod has another top-10 brand with Beefeater, at 433,000 cases in the U.S. Beefeater is the third-ranked player among gins priced $15-$25 and, beyond its London Dry expression, markets a series of seasonal releases, Beefeater Pink, and a higher-end Burroughs Reserve.

Diageo-owned Tanqueray was up 4% to 1.44 million cases last year and has consistently been one of the strongest performers in the category. “Growth is being driven by a number of variants within our portfolio, including double-digit growth for both Tanqueray No. Ten and Tanqueray Rangpur Lime,” said Christina Choi, senior vice president for rum, Tequila, and gin at Diageo. She pointed to the recent national launch of Tanqueray’s Sevilla Orange offshoot as an area of excitement for the brand.

Bacardi’s Bombay family of gins ranks third in the market in volume terms. Bombay was up 10.3% to 1.28 million cases last year, making it the fastest-growing brand in the top 10. Bacardi and Bombay have recently entered the burgeoning spirits-based canned cocktail market with Bombay Sapphire & Tonic RTDs. “We’re expecting this line of canned cocktails to generate substantial growth for Bombay Sapphire. Across the Atlantic, it’s been a hit and we foresee the same anticipation and excitement in the U.S.,” said Natasha Curtin, vice president of global marketing for Bombay Sapphire.

Hendrick’s, from William Grant & Sons, slipped slightly last year after years of robust growth. But with the on-premise reopening, the brand is likely to resume its upward momentum this year, and continue its march toward the half-million-case mark.

E.&J. Gallo’s New Amsterdam has also been making headway, hitting 685,000 cases on 7% growth to rank fourth among all gins nationally. The brand offers a citrus-forward American style gin and a more traditional London Dry expression. According to Brandon Lieb, vice president of marketing, spirits business at E.&J. Gallo, both variants have performed well through the pandemic.—Shane English

Top 10 Gin Brands In The U.S.
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Rank Brand1 Company 2019 2020 Percent
Change2
1 Seagram’s Pernod Ricard 1,787 1,871 4.7%
2 Tanqueray Diageo 1,380 1,435 4.0%
3 Bombay Bacardi 1,161 1,280 10.3%
4 New Amsterdam E.&J. Distillers 640 685 7.0%
5 Gordon’s Diageo 470 465 -1.0%
6 Hendrick’s William Grant & Sons 452 441 -2.3%
7 Beefeater Pernod Ricard 440 433 -1.6%
8 Barton Sazerac 335 335 0.0%
9 Gilbey’s Beam Suntory 267 269 0.5%
10 Burnett’s Heaven Hill Brands 232 223 -3.9%
Total Top 103 7,163 7,434 3.8%
1 Includes flavors
2 Based on unrounded data.
3 Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding.
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2021
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