You may remember a month or so ago, I asked you to complete a short survey for me. I’ve analysed the 1070 responses, and here are the results.
It’s been really pleasing to see so many gin-drinkers supporting local gin distillers.
Where do you buy your gin?
Respondents were asked to pick as many applicable options from:
Large retailers (e.g Dan Murphy’s, BWS etc.), Independent bottle shops, direct from the distillery, online stores or other.
Great to see people buying direct from distillers, meaning that more money goes into their pockets! Large retailers often have a larger range and more discounts, so I can understand why people shop there.
‘Premiumisation’ has been a buzzword in the beverage industry for a while now, relating to the idea that we (consumers) don’t mind paying more for a higher end product (not necessarily a higher ABV).
Many of us have plenty of Australian gins in our collections. Unfair taxes on Australian distillers mean that these products are more expensive than their international counterparts, and is reflected in the average spend on a bottle.
Unsurprisingly, most people still reach for tonic to go with their gin, although it’s interesting to see soda comparing well to other ways to enjoy their gin.
Fever-Tree Mixers have been working hard in Australia to promote their philosophy of “If 3/4 of your drink is the mixer, mix with the best” and that’s clearly paying off judging by these results.
35% of respondents don’t play favourites with their choice of gin! Although it’s the fastest growing category in the gin field, pink gins aren’t popular with this cohort.
The provenance of the food and drink we consume has become very important over the last twenty or so years, and the Australian gin industry has benefitted. Consumers are now seeking out distilleries to visit, and are want to meet the distiller, and learn more about how gin is made.
While a small percentage didn’t really know about or understand what contract distilling is, the majority overwhelming didn’t think it was an issue.
What is contract distilling?
Contract distilling covers anything from paying a distiller for the whole process from recipe development and production, to bottling and labelling. Alternatively, it could mean creating your own gin recipe and then renting a still to make it. Often referred to as ‘gypsy distilling’.
Contract distilling definitely has a place in the distilling industry, helping small brands get a start when they don’t have the means to build their own distillery. Two great examples are Imperial Measures Distilling and Prohibition Liquor Co.
Imperial Measures and PLC, both initially worked with Applewood Distillery to create their gins, and after establishing names for themselves, were financially able to set up on their own.
Some respondents commented that ‘as long as it tastes good I don’t mind’, and recognised the expense of starting a distillery. A good proportion were happy to buy the gin, as long as the brand was transparent about its origins.
I then asked respondents to rank the influences on their decision to purchase a new gin.
The two most important influences are ‘supporting a small business’ and ‘reviews and recommendations’. There will be some happy Australian distillers reading that!
Instagram, Facebook groups and just, you know, your mates, offer a chance to find out whether we will like a gin before we buy it, which is important, especially when splurging on the latest ‘must have’ release.
I know the time and effort that distillers spend creating a brand that will stand out on the shelf, but it appears that we consumers aren’t swayed by a pretty face!
Price and awards rated low as influences.
I think consumers recognise that it’s often better to pay a little more for a gin that tastes better. As the saying goes ‘You get what you pay for!’
We might not be swayed by a shiny gold sticker denoting a medal, but for distillers awards are a chance to get their name out to the press, or to open negotiations with a new retailer. Sometimes, it’s just nice to see how you fare against international producers while waving the Aussie flag!