Gin is extremely uninteresting

The global Gin sector is low price, low growth and extremely uninteresting, according to a top City of London analyst.

Trevor Stirling the European beverages analyst at US stockbroker, Sanford C Bernstein, was speaking at the Worship Company of Distillers’ City Debate yesterday (May 2), titled: “Gin: a tortuous history with a brilliant future?”.

Stirling went on to say: “But super premium Gin has been growing at a furious pace, significantly faster than super premium Scotch and Cognac, albeit off a small base.

To a packed room in the JP Morgan Suite in the former Prudential Building in Holborn, London, Stirling said: “Looking forward super premium Gin looks set for continued strong growth with room for both increased interest from the majors and on-going success for smaller players.

“The jury is still out on whether there will be a trickle down effect on standard Gin. Our best guess is: Probably not,” said Stirling.

Earlier he had pointed out that Gin represents only 3% of the global spirits sector by both volume and value. The average price of gin is lower that Vodka, Scotch and Cognac and value growth over the 10 years from 2001 had been half that of the global average for spirits*.

The volume of gin consumption is concentrated in Asia, specifically the Philippines but the average selling prices and value are in mature markets. Super premium Gin accounts for 1% of global Gin volume and 4% of global value but there has been consistent strong growth with a 10 year average volume growth of 23%. Super premium Gin has grown faster than Scotch, Cognac and Vodka, reported Stirling.

Super premium Gin is concentrated in the US, Spain and, to a lesser extent, the UK. Global gin volumes are dominated by San Miguel in the Philippines. The value share is accounted for by Diageo’s Gordon’s and Tanqueray, Pernod Ricard’s Beefeater and Plymouth and Bacardi’s Bombay Sapphire.

Stirling singled out William Grant’s Hendrick’s brand, calling in a “phenomenal success” and the leading brand in super premium Gin.

Earlier, Ed Pilkington. Diageo’s global category director for Vodka, Rum and Gin, told the audience about the company’s brands, Gordon’s, Tanqueray and Booth’s, calling the category “intriguing, eccentric and effervescent”.

Maurice Doyle, Wm Grant’s global marketing director, concentrated on the “idiosyncrasy and craft of the category.

Tom Sandham, author of The World’s Best Cocktails and Drinks International contributor, opened the debate with an amusing round up of the history of Gin

*Source: Euromonitor, IWSR and Bernstein estimates and analysis