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Super-Premium Brands Are Reinventing The Gin Category

November 17, 2022

Although the overall gin segment remains sluggish in the U.S., the sector’s high end is on the rise. Similar to trends within other categories such as Tequila, Bourbon, and even spirits-based RTDs, gin’s future now lies in premiumization. For many years, the trend has been driven largely by the trailblazing success of William Grant & Sons’ Hendrick’s brand, which has long stood out for its flavor profile and its novel approach to limited releases. Last year, Hendrick’s was up over 20%—according to Impact Databank—and its success has helped pave the way for an influx of boutique and craft players.

Primarily due to pantry loading owing to the pandemic, the total gin market in the U.S. registered a rare increase in 2020, but even with that temporary uptick, overall volume was still at less than half the category’s peak volume of 19 million 9-liter cases posted back in 1979. The long-term declining trend returned last year, as the total gin market fell 1% to under 9.4 million cases, according to The U.S. Spirits Market: Shanken’s Impact Databank Review & Forecast, 2022 Edition. But with help from high-end gin labels, the category is expected to experience modest growth by the end of this decade.

Other than supply disruptions caused by the pandemic, super-premium gin brands (at least $25 a 750-ml.) have consistently registered strong double-digit gains, and they combine for well over a million cases, more than doubling their aggregate volume in the past five years. This year, the upscale segment is expected to account for a full 15% share of the total gin category, according to the 269-page Impact Databank report. For the year-to-date period ending October 8 in NielsenIQ channels, gin brands priced over $25 a 750-ml. rose 11% in volume terms.

Aside from Hendrick’s, which has long traded on its craft-like positioning and quirky advertising approach, other super-premium gin brands have made gains as drinkers move up the pricing ladder, and as marketers place emphasis on labels with higher margins. Recently, the high end has gained traction by targeting the millennial demographic with new flavors and emphasis on craft, as well as with innovative barrel finishes. Diageo’s Aviation is the largest-selling American gin priced over $25—according to Impact Databank—as its partnership with actor Ryan Reynolds continues to bring visibility.

For more information regarding The 2022 U.S. Spirits Market: Impact Databank Review & Forecast, as well as other exclusive Shanken reports and publications, visit impactdatabank.com.—Juan Banaag

U.S.—Leading Gin Brands Priced At Least $25 a 750-ml.
Brand Company Origin Total 2021
U.S. Volume1
Control States
2022 Volume
Growth YTD2
Hendrick’s William Grant & Sons USA Scotland 531 6.5%
Aviation Diageo North America U.S. 101 7.8%
Citadelle Maison Ferrand USA France 69 15.8%
Empress 1908 Milestone Brands Canada 69 98.4%
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Palm Bay International Ireland 64 14.9%
Botanist Rémy Cointreau USA Scotland 63 29.1%
Roku Beam Suntory Japan 51 12.6%
Fords London Dry Brown-Forman England 36 62.7%
Tanqueray No. Ten Diageo North America England 34 -9.2%
Bluecoat Heaven Hill Brands U.S. 33 1.8%
Total Leading Brands 1,051 13.3%
1 Thousands of 9-liter cases.
2 Year-to-date through September.

Source: NABCA and IMPACT DATABANK © 2022

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