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Young drinkers drive UK gin sales above £1 billion in 2015

Published:  18 December, 2015

Young drinkers will push UK gin sales above £1 billion for the first time, according to data from research giant Mintel, released today.

That represents growth of 25% since 2012, when sales were £829 million.

The sector will continue to experience high growth, Mintel predicts, with sales hitting £1.31 billion by the end of the decade.

Some 42% of people aged 18 to 34 have drunk gin in the past 12 months, compared to 27% of over-45s.

Jacob Ehrenkrona, chief executive of Martin Miller's Gin, said: "We have noticed an increase in the global interest in gin, with particular curiosity from younger consumers (although not limited to them), with experienced gin drinkers paying more attention to the quality of the gin they ask for.

"This has been especially noted in our key distribution markets, such as the UK and US, where we have grown 100 per cent in the last year.

"When Martin Miller's Gin was launched in 1999, people took most things that spirit brands said about their production technique at face value.

"Consumers today are much more aware and demand full transparency as they are genuinely interested in what goes into producing what they eat or drink."

Overall, 33% of us have drunk gin in the last year, with volumes hitting 29 million litres in 2015.

A similar proportion - 34% - have drunk white rum in the last twelve months.

However, rum sales are down 6% to £411 million in 2015, with Mintel predicting a further drop to £378 million in 2020.

Just 11% of white spirit or ready-to-drink consumers see white rum as value for money, Mintel reports.

Consumers still cite vodka as their preferred white spirit, with 30% choosing it as their favourite, compared to 20% for gin and 17% for rum.

Vodka is responsible for 61% of the total value of white spirit sales, with 48% of us having drunk it in the past year.

Its sales are up 8% since 2010 and reached £3.46 billion in 2015.

Chris Wisson, senior drinks analyst at Mintel, said: "The strong performance of gin continues to stand out within the spirits market, and is widely seen as the most sophisticated type of white spirit by category users.

"Our research indicates that gin is in fact now most likely to be drunk by younger consumers, suggesting that it has a chance to forge a dynamic image and move into even more innovative areas.

"Vodka continues to dominate sales within the category and the beverage enjoys a number of favourable associations, namely its mixability, unisex appeal and value for money.

"While vodka and gin have thrived, white rum has found recent years altogether more challenging.

"Our research shows that white rum fails to stand out in a competitive spirits market and this is one of the likely reasons why it has struggled in recent years."

With the research also showing that consumers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for small batch craft gins, the news may not be uniformly good for gin producers.

Connor Campbell, senior market analyst at, said:

"Gin may be in high spirits, with its increasing popularity among younger drinkers meaning sales are likely to break £1 billion by the end of 2015, but shares in Gordon's maker Diageo were down by nearly 1% today despite this boozy bit of good news."