Gordon's the winner in gin stakes

05 September, 2008

Gordon Ramsay may be a love-him-or-hate-him character, but it would appear more gin drinkers fall into the former camp th an the

latter . The marketing campaign fronted by the chef contribut ed to a

9% leap in value sales, pushing the category leader over

£100 million sales .

It was a good year for Bacardi's Bombay Sapphire too, though the premium brand still chalks up less than a fifth of the sales of Gordon's.

Gordon's owner Diageo has also proved that focus on one brand needn't spoil the chances for

others in the same category. It's only a few years since Tanqueray was just a brand Diageo sold in the US, but it's now an established premium brand in its own right in the UK . It saw further double-digit growth this year and there is possibly more to come on the back of a £500,000 advertising campaign, which was launched in July.

The marketing effort of the big two spirits producers in gin has brought about category growth but knocked back rivals, with Greenall's the big loser, seeing brand sales dip below £10 million.

Plymouth suffered too, despite a recent relaunch, but it faced

- and still does - a period of uncertainty

as a possible disposal target for Pernod Ricard in the fallout from the French company's acquisition of Sweden's Vin & Sprit.

Hendrick's - the William Grant-owned premium gin in a funny bottle and flavoured with cucumbers - sneaks on to the bottom of the top 10, passing sales of £1 million for the first time

and threatening to break out of its style bar ghetto in a bigger way in the future.

One to watch

Not too long ago

Beefeater was being written-off by some

pundits as a brand heading for gin heaven, along with products of yesteryear such as Booth's and White Satin.

With sales of just £3.3 million, it's still a long way off the days when it fought

for supremacy with Gordon's, but growth of

more than 20% suggests better times are on the way back for Beefeater.

The renaissance has come on the back of a transfer of ownership from the old Allied Domecq to Pernod Ricard.

Crucially, Pernod has given Beefeater focus - not necessarily loads of cash, but a clear brand proposition based on

quality and its role as the gin of London, with accompanying iconic imagery.

If the eye stays on the ball for long enough, expect 2012 to be Beefeater's big year.

Gin in figures

Value: £255 million

(2007: £251 million)

Change: +2%

Volume: 194,000hl (2007: 194,000hl)

Change: 0%

Source: Nielsen year to Aug 9 2008

Top 10 gin brands

1 Gordon's+9%

2 Bombay Sapphire+7%

3 Greenall's Gin-21%

4 Plymouth Gin-4%

5 Tanqueray+11%

6 Beefeater+21%

7 Richmond London Gin+6%

8 London Silk+22%

9 Royal London+38%

10 Hendrick's+67%

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