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Flavoured Gin Trends 2024

June 6, 2024

Flavoured Gin Trends 2024

It’s the comeback kid of spirits – gin has been booming since the mid-00s and is still the go-to tipple for the majority of drinkers. But its sales have slipped back, due to wider economic factors as much as the rise of other white spirits. There’s still plenty of opportunities to maintain gin’s appeal, though.

Developing innovative flavours for gins, delivering drinks in bright colours and eye-catching packaging, then offering seasonal recipe ideas can all help drink brands to sustain sales of gins and flavoured gins.

Understanding the motivators and purchase influencers for different gin drinkers is essential too – promoting lower ABV serves for NoLo drinkers, tapping into ‘quality over quantity’ buying habits, or creating drinks to suit celebrations, for example.

Market factors

Like all white spirits, gin remains a popular choice, whether enjoyed in cocktails, with mixers, or just neat. And within its category, it has held on to its top spot as the most widely drunk white spirit, enjoyed by 49% of drinkers*.

The gin boom does look to be slowing, though. The juniper-flavoured spirit now holds a smaller share of the white spirits market as both its on-trade and off-trade sales fell back through 2023. This is reflective of wider market trends, as discretionary items are forfeited by consumers seeking to rein in spending through the cost-of-living crisis.

Gordons-Pink-Gin

However, this setback for gin overall has created opportunities for some brands. As big-name brands like Gordon’s lost sales, own label brands have enjoyed a 6.9% rise in value sales from 2020/21-2022/23*.

Getting clear on these finer details within the white spirits market will help drinks brands to maintain sales and market share for products like gins or flavoured gins.

Market opportunities

Most drinkers enjoy white spirits as an occasional treat – 35% of adults enjoy them once or more than once a week (11% more than once a week, and 24% once a week)*. And amongst adults with healthy finances, this rises to 17% and 27%, respectively*.

Hendrick's Grand Cabaret Gin

Treats like gins or flavoured gins tie into the ongoing ‘worth the splurge’ trend, as consumers choose quality over quantity, opting to spend more on better items but less often in the face of rising product prices. Recent launches from premium brands have tapped into this by developing new flavour combinations in limited edition batches – Padstow Gin has launched a small-batch Rose Gin and Hendrick’s fruity Grand Cabaret highlights how it was inspired by an historic Parisian drink. Both are coloured and packaged to stand out on shelves too, in a premium pink and luxurious deep purple.

Bright colours like these are known to boost on-shelf standout to shoppers or encourage drinkers to share their serves on socials – 23% of 18-34-year-olds say bold colours or social media sharing have prompted them to buy white spirits*. Another example of this is Aldi’s Blood Orange flavoured gin. Its vivid orange colour is complemented by warm turquoise branding and premium-feeling packaging while still retailing for less than the branded alternatives.

As well as those with more disposable income, white spirits are also enjoyed more frequently by under 35s. This tends to link to gin’s association as a traditional yet celebratory spirit – demonstrated as gin enjoyed a brief spike in sales through the King’s Coronation in 2023 – and the demographic’s general propensity to socialise more regularly.

Where younger drinkers are also more likely to be following the mindful drinking movement, though, there are opportunities to maintain their interest in gin through creating and promoting lower ABV versions. These could be positioned as suiting midweek occasions. Flavoured gin liqueurs, which typically have a 20% ABV, are one way gin-lovers can try the NoLo trend. NB Distillery has already done this with its 21% ABV gin alternative, cleverly named ‘School Night’.

Colourful Gin Cocktails

Gin’s versatility in cocktails or with a range of mixers (including tonic, lemonade, ginger ale, and juice) sees gin creations regularly shared on socials, where under 35s are more likely to be influenced to buy white spirits or share photos of drinks themselves. However, as the 20-34s age group is declining, drinks brands are advised to focus on maintaining customers loyalty and winning round older drinkers.

One way of doing this could be using gin’s versatility in cocktails and association with celebrations to create new recipes suited to year-round occasions. New cocktail recipes for autumn/winter would appeal to 67% of people who buy white spirits*, offering a way to increase gin sales year-round. Promoting seasonal variations will help drinks brands to reposition gin from largely being seen as a summer serve, too.

Whether they are combined through cocktail recipe ideas for traditional gins or standalone within a flavoured gin, innovative flavours are key to boosting sales. Unique or unusual flavour combinations not only differentiate a product for consumers, but also encourage them to spend more. Superior taste is cited as a leading factor for 52% to pay more, while innovative flavours encourage 26% to pay more for alcoholic drinks*.

Flavour ideas

Innovative gin flavours and superior taste to create the best flavoured gin can come from well-established or new and emerging ingredients and trends.

Strawberry Gin Cocktail

A range of sweet flavours – from raspberries, strawberries and orange – and tart flavours – think rhubarb, bitter orange, sloe berry or Sicilian lemon – are mature players for flavoured gins. These established flavours could be built on to develop new flavourings for gin using complementary flavours from emerging trends – such as orange with white peach, raspberry with cherry blossom, or rhubarb with black pepper.

The latter ingredients here are all emerging trendy flavours – peppercorn is being paired with flavours from apricots, melons, figs and lemons, for example, to elevate or balance soft or tart flavours.  And cherry blossom is one of a range of international flowers being used for their elegant floral flavours, along with magnolia and jasmine, as well as homegrown lavender, chamomile or elderflower.

All these floral flavours will work as innovative gin flavours. House of Suntory’s limited edition Roku Sakura Bloom gin uses cherry blossom’s sweet flavour, while influencers have shared about foraging for florals to create a wild violet gin.

These both offer soft pink hues that suit the ever-popular pink drinks trend. 2023’s summer of Barbie-mania helped this trend to maintain momentum, with berries, watermelon and florals all being used to create joyful-feeling serves.

Peach & Raspberry Gin

Soft oranges are one of the newer, popular colour for drinks, echoing trending hues like Pantone’s 2024 Colour of the Year, Peach Fuzz, and WSGN and Coloro’s Apricot Crush. These shades evoke feelings of calm and can be sourced from tropical fruits and Asian blossoms, including pink grapefruit, mango, apricot, peach, and orange blossom. Beefeater has used the colour and flavour of the trendy stoned fruit in its new Peach & Raspberry gin, for example.

Work with us

To start developing or expanding your range of flavoured gins, chat to our team today. We are experts in formulating and manufacturing flavourings for gins.

Image source: Trendhub The Food People 2024

*Mintel – White Spirits & RTDs, UK 2024

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