Gin market is heading for a crash

The market for gin is showing classic signs of overheating. I’ve thought this for a while, but a recent incident reminded me of my earlier (private) predictions. Let me say at this point, that I hope I’m wrong. I love gin, and the rapid emergence of a host of new small, artisanal distilleries with all their weird and wacky combinations of botanicals has made gin a lot more interesting. And as for the humble gin and tonic ….. well.

However the gin sector is showing classic signs of overheating, which means that as customers turn to the next ‘big thing’ gin will be in a precarious position. I believe that within 5 years, 30 – 40% of the distilleries we now have may be gone.

Overpriced gin

For reasons too complicated to explain, I thought I’d buy a bottle of the ‘local’ gin for an event in Newmarket, Suffolk. I’d heard of a local distillery, and thought wouldn’t it be good to support a local business? And in any case it’s an excuse to try another gin! #nobadthing.

the Newmarket gin - weighing in at a hefty £80
the Newmarket gin – weighing in at a hefty £70

There are only a couple of places that sell this gin. OK. But then I found out that there are 2 versions available. The special limited edition is £85! Wow! Even the ‘standard’ product is a weighty £70. So it stayed on the shelf, and so I’ve still not tried it.

I reflected on this and wonder if this gin can really be twice as good as some of the other fine gins that I’ve tried and love. And these at £35 would be regarded as premium gins. Warner- Edwards, Audemus pink pepper gin, Tanqueray Ten and Burleighs are all fine gins and the wrong side of £30. Then consider that £70 is equivalent to 4 bottles of the market-leading, juniper led Gordons, which I think is still a fine gin.  Certainly any gin at £70 has got to be flippin’ amazing to be worth the money. Perhaps the Newmarket Gin is that good, but sadly I’ll probably never find out. For the time being, I’ll stick with my pauper’s £35 bottles. Cheers.

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