Growth in UK distillers shows no sign of stopping – report

The number of UK distillers increased by a fifth last year amid rising sales of spirits, new research suggests.

The total jumped to 246 as the sector continues to attract investors, said accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

The UK gin industry saw export sales increase by 9% to £672 million in 2019, while Scotch whisky exports grew 4.4% to £4.91 billion, according to the report.

The increasing popularity of flavoured spirits was also said to be a major driver of growth in the UK distilling industry.

Budget 2007
The increasing popularity of flavoured gin has been said to be a major driver of growth in the UK distilling industry (Clara Molden/PA)

New flavours of gin launched in the UK in the past few years include Lemon Sherbet, Pear Drop and Parma Violet.

James Simmonds, of UHY Hacker Young, said: “The growth in British craft distilling has not stopped yet. Whilst gin sales growth is beginning to taper off, new distillers are still entering the market.

“Growth won’t continue at this rate forever, but, for now, domestic and overseas consumers’ demand for UK craft spirits hasn’t yet been met.

“The trend for authentic local artisan food and drink looks to be here to stay, and that will continue to tempt entrepreneurs and investors into the craft spirits industry.

“While artisan gin has been the big growth driver over the last five years, but there is also strong interest in some of the smaller artisan whisky distillers in Scotland.”

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