The UK drinks market key gin insights

The UK’s on-trade and hospitality outlets are preferring to serve leading brands of gin and tonic as their house products instead of supporting local and small-batch counterparts, as market researcher Shepper finds. 

The research was conducted by Shepper’s community of data-collectors and is based on a sample of 1,000 independent free-trade sites, alongside some regionally and nationally managed pub and bar groups, showcasing the gin and tonic buying experience.

Lindsay Forster, CEO of Shepper, said: “Gin and tonic is one of the most popular drinks in the UK and it has seen a huge revival over the past decade as the number of gin distilleries has grown.”

The most common gins served were Beefeater (22%) and Tanqueray (18%), with Bombay Sapphire and Gordons at 10%, as 148 different types of gin were served, with only one in ten being a regional variety. 

“What the data shows is that the more well-known household names are preferred, but the local small batch providers are making a marginal breakthrough. However, the hospitality industry can do more to support the smaller, lesser known brands, as gin lovers are typically open to trying different types of gins, tonics and garnishes,” Forster added.

Fevertree took the lead in tonics with over half (53%) serving the mixer, followed by Schweppes at 16% with one in four outlets serving a tonic other than one of these two brands. 

The average cost of a single gin and tonic is £7.73 in London and £5.67 in the East Midlands, with the cheapest served in Nottingham at £3.20 and the most expensive in Central London at £20.25.