The gin category can look forward to a positive future, according to new research from just-drinks and The IWSR, in spite of the overall market being flat at 45.3m cases in 2013.
While the sector may appear becalmed, the Global Gin Insights report, released last week, points to an uptick in sales in three of the category's five biggest markets. The US, Spain and the UK are also markets where premium sales predominate.
Global sales at the value end have declined, but this fall obscures the premium growth, the report details. Excluding low-priced gin, volumes were up by 0.3% between 2012 and 2013 to 29.6m cases, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.4% between 2008 and 2013.
Retail sales values (Travel Retail and domestic, including excise duties) rose by almost 6% in 2013 to US$5.85bn in 2013, with the US up 1.5%, the UK by 12% and Spain by 15.3%.
"Gin's major markets are all experiencing solid growth, driven by a premiumisation trend and a host of new brands," the report states. "Although volumes are focused on a relatively small number of countries, a large number of emerging destinations are showing early signs of dynamic growth."
However, the report notes that the category faces two main challenges; to achieve broader category volumes within the established markets, and expand its geographical footprint beyond the big three markets and travel retail.
To that end, a number of other markets, including Portugal, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Japan, are showing "promising signs of growth, mainly off a small base", the report states. Other countries identified as promising are Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia.