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Gin is in the pink as innovation accelerates

Published:  13 June, 2018

The trend for pink gins and gins distilled with unusual ingredients is gathering pace following a spate of launches this week.

Quintessential Brands Group has unveiled a new Jasmine & Rose pink variant of its Bloom brand and a trio of RTDs under the Ophir Spiced Gin trademark, while Italian producer Malfy has launched a pink gin flavoured with grapefruit and rhubarb.

“Innovation is key to bringing new consumers into the category,” said Quintessential Brands’ Rob Curteis, international marketing director for Greenall’s Gin, which today unveiled two new gin liqueurs, flavoured with apple & hibiscus and blood orange, fig & ginger.

Sales of gin have surged by 33% to just shy of £1.5bn while volumes have climbed 28% with almost 55 million bottles sold in the UK in the year ending March 2018 [WTSA]. Market value is more than double what it was five years ago.

“Britain’s thirst for gin shows no sign of waning as we can see from yet another round of record breaking gin sales,” said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.

“Hats off to our skilful and innovative British distillers who keep coming up with interesting botanical blends to create new award-winning gins that are proving very attractive to consumers who have increasingly sophisticated palates.”

Flavour innovation has played a crucial role in the gin category’s continuing growth, said Quintessential Brands UK marketing director Russell Kirkham, pointing to the ginger, orange and classic premixed Ophir G&Ts the brand has launched in stubbie bottles.

“The G&T will always be a classic gin serve but today’s consumers want to go beyond that,” he said. “Gin drinkers are becoming increasingly adventurous, exploring the gin category and they’re much more open to different flavours these days, as the success of Opihr Gin, which has grown by 102% in value in the last 12 months in the UK Off-Trade, goes to show.”

Malfy Gin Rosa – flavoured with Sicilian pink grapefruit & rhubarb – was launched in the UK to tap the growing adventurousness of British drinkers. It joins original, lemon and orange variations of the Italian gin, said Elwyn Gladstone, founder of brand owner Biggar & Leith.

“Taking its name from the Italian word for pink, it’s a fresh and natural gin,” he added. “We macerate huge quantities of Sicilian Pink Grapefruit in spirit and then distil. We blend this distillate with juniper and re-distil in our vacuum still to get a delicious, fresh tasting expression of this fruit. We also add in a small amount of Rhubarb distillate.”

The number of pink gins available in the UK has exploded over the past year, with Gordon’s, Beefeater and Greenall’s all investing in new pink products.