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Record-breaking year for gin makes it the success story of 2016, says WSTA

Published:  09 December, 2016

2016 has proved to be a record-breaking year for gin, with end of year sales continuing to soar.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association's (WSTA) end of year report shows that Brits' love for a gin and tonic isn't restricted to the summer months as sales continue to fizz into November and December.

According to the report, gin sales in the on-trade in the 12 months to October 1, 2016, increased by 19%, on the same period last year, worth £619m.

The rise is also reflected in the amount of gin sold in the off-trade, which in 12 months to November 5, 2016, rose by 13% to £437m.

Gin's success reached a high earlier in the year when it broke the £1bn sales mark in the on-and-off trade for the first time, six months ahead of forecasts.

For six consecutive quarters, on-trade sales of gin have seen double-digit growth, outperforming every other spirits category.

Since the first WSTA Market Report released in 2012, gin sales in pubs, bars and restaurants have increased by £300m - the equivalent of an annual boost of £3,750 extra to every UK pub.

Sales of gin in shops, supermarkets and off licences have also increased by 68% since 2012.

"There are many reasons why people may not feel like celebrating 2016 but the WSTA are pleased to give you something happy to reflect on - 2016 can now be remembered as the 'Great British Gin Take Off'," said Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA said.

"We hope that government supports our innovative gin makers who have driven an extraordinary increase in UK exports, up 166% since 2000.

We would like to remind government that cutting excise duty boosts business and brings more money into the Treasury.

"Following the cut in spirits duty in the 2015 budget, spirits duty income increased on the previous year by £125m (+4.1%) from April 2015 to March 2016 inclusive.

"The UK spirit industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe with 76% of a bottle of spirits accounted for by tax, the 4th highest duty rate for spirits in the EU.

Let's make sure gin continues to boom in 2017."