The WSTA aims to create "Flavoured Gin" definition

The Wine & Spirits Trade Association is working on a definition for flavoured gin, which “reflects the quality of the products that are already out there”, while also whittling out products that shouldn’t have the word “gin” on the label.

Speaking at this week’s Think Gin event Miles Beale, the WSTA’s chief executive, said: “For us the really important thing to do next is to come up with a flavoured gin category that we are happy with and so we are currently working on a definition of what “Flavoured Gin” should be.

“We are working this out so that it is easy for consumers to understand. It is up to consumers to decide what they like to drink but it is up to us [the industry] to market this properly.

“At the moment there are some flavours that have been added to gin that result in a product that should not be called gin. We would like to see a flavoured gin definition that shows some industry regulation.”

Beale acknowledged that the “short and flexible” definition for what constitutes a gin – which states that juniper should be the most dominant botanical - has helped drive innovation in the category, although he added “but it could also be its undoing so it needs to be approached with caution”.

Flavoured Gin sales are up 300% for the year to May 2019 (Kantar) in the off-trade, while gin sales are also up (by 11%).

When asked if the gin category should have an equivalent of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) or whether it should be a self-regulated industry, Beale said his view is that gin should not follow the same route as Scotch Whisky.

He said: “I would say that the growth of gin occurred because that doesn’t exist in gin. And Scotch Whisky’s rules are now being loosened to allow for greater innovation.

“Gin needs to think about what consumers it wants to go after. The UK is the birthplace of gin and the Britishness is something you can market.”

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