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Gin’s $25-And-Over Tier Showing Rapid Growth

June 2, 2021

Gin’s future, like Bourbon and Tequila before it, seems to lie in premiumization. Brands priced above $25 a 750-ml. bottle generally outperformed their lower priced competition in 2020 and the majority of leading super-premium brands posted growth. Overall, the dozen leading gin brands above $25 a 750-ml. grew by 11.3% to 859,000 cases, according to Impact Databank, with nine of the 12 leading brands growing, two declining, and one flat. The higher end of the category is undoubtedly a bright spot for gin.

At 441,000 cases, William Grant & Sons’ Hendrick’s is the super-premium frontrunner by roughly 350,000 cases, and the sixth-largest gin brand in the U.S. Hendrick’s stands out for its flavor profile and its novel approach to limited releases, leading with a cucumber- and rose-focused flagship and offering consumers limited offerings like Midsummer Solstice. The latest limited release, Lunar, hit shelves in early 2021 and is the second spirit in the brand’s Cabinet of Curiosities series, made with citrus, baking spice, and floral essences.

Following Hendrick’s in the super-premium segment is Diageo’s Aviation gin. The brand has rocketed to its current position, up nearly 61% to 86,000 cases for 2020. “Our Nielsen data shows continued very strong double-digit growth in retail and we are beginning to see the on-premise reemerge,” said Andrew Chrisomalis, CEO at Davos Brands, which Diageo purchased for up to $610 million in August 2020. Chrisomalis said Aviation has exceeded expectations amid the uncertainty of the past year. In a recent interview with SND, Diageo North America president Debra Crew added, “(Celebrity partner) Ryan Reynolds continues to deliver great support and marketing ideas behind Aviation. The brand is continuing to gain share any way you measure it, whether it’s within total spirits, gin, or super-premium gin.”

Behind Aviation, there are a host of super-premium gins that are gaining market share and engaging consumers. Palm Bay International’s Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin was up 78% to 53,000 cases in 2020, and was recently joined in the brand portfolio by a Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey retailing at $65. Other rising players above $25 a 750-ml. are Maison Ferrand’s Citadelle at 52,000 cases on 9% growth, Rémy Cointreau’s The Botanist at 48,000 cases after growing by 15.6% last year, Beam Suntory’s Roku at 38,000 cases on a 9% jump, Azzurre Spirits’ Empress Gin (+138% to 31,000 cases), and 3 Badge Beverage Corp’s Uncle Val’s (+6.6% to 17,000 cases). Other notable super-premium priced gins include Samson & Surrey’s Bluecoat, up 10.2% to 29,000 cases, Zamora Co. USA’s Martin Miller’s, estimated to be flat at 25,000 cases, and Caledonia’s Barr Hill, up 9% to 24,000 cases.

As the super-premium gin subcategory develops, it has attracted celebrity investment. Ryan Reynolds continues to hold an ownership interest in Aviation, and he is not alone. Last September, rapper Snoop Dogg teamed up with Prestige Beverage Group to launch Indoggo, a strawberry flavored gin. The brand made a national push in February and, according to Prestige, early sales have outstripped their expectations, with more in-person tastings and promotions on the docket as the on-premise reopens.

Given the growth of flavored spirits and super-premium gin, Prestige believes that Indoggo—priced at roughly $30 a 750-ml.—is at the perfect intersection of developing trends within the industry. Snoop plans to integrate Indoggo into his live tours in the future. “I am an equity partner, this is my baby, my passion, my creation. This is not a spokesperson or license deal, this is mine,” he told SND last fall.—Shane English

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