Impact Databank: Gin’s Upscale Tier Shows Impressive GrowthMay 9, 2022
Primarily due to pantry loading owing to the pandemic, the gin market in the U.S. registered a rare increase in 2020, but even with that uptick volume was still at less than half the category’s peak volume of 19 million 9-liter cases posted in 1979, according to Impact Databank. The long-term declining trend returned last year as the total gin market fell 2.5% to less than 9.2 million cases.
Similar to trends within other categories such as Tequila, Bourbon, and even spirits-based RTDs, gin’s future appears to lie in premiumization. And while some craft American gin brands have posted impressive growth the past few years—such as Diageo’s Aviation brand, which crossed 100,000 cases last year—high-end imports undoubtedly have been the bright spot for the gin category as a whole.
Higher volume, premium-plus gin imports ($15-$25 a 750-ml.), including such well-known labels as Tanqueray (1.45 million cases), Bombay (1.2 million cases), and Beefeater (429,000 cases), have recently had mixed results. But other than disruptions caused by the pandemic, imported super-premium gin brands (at least $25 a 750-ml.) have consistently registered strong double-digit gains, and they comprised well over 10% of the gin market in 2021—according to Impact Databank—more than doubling their aggregate volume the past five years.
At over half-a-million cases in 2021, William Grant & Sons’ Hendrick’s is the super-premium frontrunner and the market’s fifth-largest gin overall. Hendrick’s stands out for its flavor profile and its novel approach to limited releases. The 10 largest-selling labels in the above-$25 import segment hail from eight different origins, and as the super-premium import subcategory continues to develop, it appears to be at the perfect intersection of developing upscale trends within the spirits industry as a whole.—Juan Banaag
|Imported Gin—Leading Super-Premium Brands1
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
|Hendrick’s||William Grant & Sons||Scotland||441||531||20.4%|
|Citadelle||Maison Ferrand USA||France||52||69||33.0%|
|Empress 1908||Azzurre Spirits||Canada||31||69||119.9%|
|Drumshanbo Gunpowder||Palm Bay International||Ireland||53||64||21.0%|
|Roku||Beam Suntory Inc||Japan||38||51||34.1%|
|Fords London Dry||Brown-Forman||England||18||36||98.5%|
|Monkey 47||Pernod Ricard USA||German||19||23||20.4%|
|Malfy||Pernod Ricard USA||Italy||14||17||21.3%|
|Sipsmith||Beam Suntory Inc||England||12||15||30.8%|
|Total Leading Super-Premium Imports3||726||938||29.2%|
|1 $25 & over a 750-ml.
2 Based on unrounded data
3 Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding.
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2022