gin credit steven guzzardi flickr

Image courtesy of Steven Guzzardi via Flickr under the Creative Commons License 2.0 

Shoppers can expect to pay more for Mother’s Ruin this Christmas, as supermarket gin prices have surged in the wake of duty rises earlier this year.

Prices of the trendy tipple are up 6% across 127 SKUs in the mults over the past 12 months, with big brands and craft players alike growing dearer [Brand View 52 w/e 25 September 2017].

The average price of a 70cl bottle of Bombay Sapphire 40% is now £20.75 - up 3.8% on last year - while a bottle of premium Scottish gin Caorunn is now £27, up 3.1%. A one-litre bottle of Edinburgh Raspberry Gin, at £18.25, is 10.6% pricier.

Plymouth Gin, meanwhile, saw one of the steepest rises, of 7% to an average £25.50 for a 70cl bottle, with supplier Pernod Ricard blaming Brexit for price increases earlier this year. Beefeater, also made by Pernod Ricard, is up 6.3% on average to £17 per 70cl.

“This is consistent with what you would expect to see following a rise in excise duty of 3.9%, in conjunction with general inflationary rises,” says Wine & Spirit Trade Association chief executive Miles Beale. “Currently, 77% of the average priced bottle of gin goes on tax - duty plus VAT - meaning that upwards of £10.35 can go directly to the Treasury and this, of course, affects prices.”

Hendrick’s, Britain’s sixth-biggest gin brand, is up an average of 3.7% to £28 per 70cl, though prices for smaller, 350ml ‘Minisculinity’ bottles saw only a marginal rise of 0.7%. Sipsmith - the eighth-biggest brand - is up 3.7% to an average of £28.50 for 70cl, but the price of its 350ml SKU rose by a whopping 9.9% on average to £19. It cost £14.50 this time last year. Gordon’s, however - the UK’s bestselling gin - is up just 0.7% to £14.70 for a 70cl bottle, though the price of 100cl of Gordon’s is up 2.7% to £17.50.

“There is also the prospect that duty will go up again in the Autumn Budget,” says Beale. “In order for these sorts of price rises not to become the norm, the government needs to review its unfair and deeply unpopular excise duty levels.”

But Brits’ thirst shows no sign of abating despite surging prices: value sales of gin were up £45m (13.5%) over the past year, reaching a total of £380.5m [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 21 May 2017].

Indeed, even brands whose prices have risen significantly are selling strong. All of Britain’s top 10 gin brands grew in value this year, with the likes of Gordon’s, Tanqueray, Greenall’s and Hendrick’s in double-digit growth [IRI 52 w/e 22 July 2017].

“The botanical spirit has grown in scale and popularity - 4.4 million households in Great Britain now buy gin over the course of a year, up from 3.8 million last year”, says Kantar analyst Roy Mattar.

“More accessible brands have started to make significant contributions to the segment’s growth - brands like Gordon’s, Greenall’s and even more value offerings from the discounters.”