As a group of UK gin producers including Brighton Gin, Cotswolds Distillery and Masons of Yorkshire are in India leading a campaign for British Gin, the Gin Guild announce exports of British Gin have bounced back after being hit by the double whammy of the pandemic and Brexit.
HMRC figures for 2022 show the total value of UK gin exports rose by £189.4 million to £730.9 million, up by more than one third on 2021’s exports. Encouragingly, the figure exceeds 2019 pre-pandemic exports by 9%.
Markets in South America show massive growth with Brazil, Argentina and Chile leading the way, with significant growth too in some Asian markets, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Exports to the EU have fallen by 4% since 2019, with Spain and Ireland seeing the biggest drops, although Italy bucks the trend with significant growth.
Imports of gin into the UK are still nearly one quarter down on the 2019 figure, a fall of more than £8 million, although the 2022 figure sees 2% growth from 2021, suggesting the import market is slowly recovering.
The biggest falls are imports of gin from the EU, a drop of one third or almost £10 million since 2019, with the impact of Brexit clearly continuing, and imports from North America, which have fallen by more than half, a drop of £2.2 million.
Pal Gleed, Director General of The Gin Guild, the member-funded gin industry body, says:
“Despite the ongoing challenges of spiralling energy costs, price inflation, rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine, which all affect trading conditions, gin distillers have shown their resilience and their ability to innovate over the past three years.
“The growth in exports reflects the quality, variety and reputation of British gin. Bartenders and restaurants want to serve it and consumers want to drink it, alongside the high-quality gins now being produced across the world.
“These latest figures show the potential for gin sales to continue to grow around the world as the spirit gains market share from other drinks which have traditionally dominated in some countries.”
The USA remains the UK’s largest export market for gin, with 2022 exports totalling more than £218 million, a 6% increase on the pre-pandemic (2019) figure.
Gin is particularly popular in Spain, Italy and Germany but exports to Spain have fallen by one third to £62.4 million since 2019 as the impact of Brexit continues to be felt.
In addition to growth in South America, British gin exports to Japan have grown by £2.3 million, to India by £4.5 million, to the United Arab Emirates by £4.9 million, to Turkey by £3 million and to South Korea by £1.4 million since 2019.
Membership of The Gin Guild, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year, now extends to 30 countries across all five continents.
Following three years of pandemic-induced travel restrictions, The Guild looks forward to welcoming as many as 50 new members and many more current members at its Spring Installation and the Gin Industry annual dinner at London’s prestigious Guildhall on 4 May.
The Guild also hopes its popular annual trade seminar, Ginposium, on 9 June at the RSA in London, will again attract worldwide participation, as industry delegates come together to discuss new trends and innovations to ensure the continuing success of gin.