A new ‘Gin-Eration’ as gin gains popularity in SA

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

For years, whisky and brandy have enjoyed status as the two leading liquor categories in South Africa; however, this is no longer the case, courtesy of gin which has now disrupted the spirits status quo.

In 2018/9 vodka overtook brandy in value, while in June 2020, gin sales exceeded vodka and are now 3% higher, making gin the second-largest spirit category in the country. This popularity growth coincides with gains the spirits market has made in the industry. In 2020, spirits accounted for 21.4% of the alcohol market value, and as of year-end 2021, this figure had grown to 27.2%.

Several factors can be attributed to gin’s increased popularity. The first is that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic placing financial pressure on consumers’ pockets, the desire for aspirational products remained as strong as ever. Considering the cost of premium whisky or premium vodka and the relatively more affordable cost of premium-looking gin, it’s not entirely surprising that there has been a shift to the latter. With gin, consumers are getting the benefit of both prestige and affordability.

Another drawcard is that gin allows for a greater degree of personalisation, carrying fewer rigid ‘rules’ about how it should be served or enjoyed. For example, gins have a variety of flavour profiles and they can be mixed with just about anything, including the more popular choices of tonic, soda and dry lemon. In addition, consumers enjoy adding a range of garnishes from the classic slice of lemon to cucumber, apple, pink peppercorns, berries and even fynbos. This particular spirit category also lends itself well to the Ready To Drink/ premixed format, and several brands can be found in bottles or cans, or both.

These factors have piqued the public’s interest in gins, culminating in an irresistible concoction that is forecasted to continue tempting consumers away from other more mainstream alcohol beverages … a phenomenon that some have described as a new ‘gin-eration’.

Edward Snell | A new 'Gin-Eration' as gin gains popularity in SA