Annual gin sales hit £620m in UK pubs

Gin sales accounted for more than half of all volume growth in UK pubs in the last 12 months, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Gin sales hit £620 million in UK pubs last year

Sales of wine and spirits in UK pubs account for 36% of the value of alcohol sold, valued at almost £6 billion (US$7.9bn). This accounts to an increase of £270 million (US$355m) – up 5% on last year.

The juniper-based spirit brought in around £620m (US$816m) to pubs last year – £190m (US$250m) more than in 2016.

CGA Strategy research on behalf of WSTA shows that, on average, four new spirit brands were added to the back bar since 2013, meaning that there is now on average of 36 spirit brands available in pubs.

While gin sales are on the up, the WSTA says that UK pubs “continue to remain at threat of closure stifled by the UK’s excessively high duty rates”.

According to the WSTA, landlords across the country have had to pay huge duty bills, totalling £820m (US$1bn) on wine and spirits alone, into the Treasury coffers, the equivalent of almost £17,000 (US$22,000) per pub.

The total duty collected from British pubs in the last 21 months hit £2.1bn (US$2.8bn) .

If chancellor Philip Hammond increases the high duty rates on alcohol, pubs across the country stand to lose an extra £28m (US$37m) next year – £558 (US$735) per pub.

In November last year, the chancellor put a freeze on duty and received an extra £380m (US$500m) in between February and August, up 6% on the same period the year before.

The chancellor plans to increase spirit duty again, by 3.4%, which would add another 26p to a bottle of spirit.

The WSTA is calling on Hammond to freeze alcohol duty in the next Budget to support British pubs following a spate of closures.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said: “The chancellor can once again show his support for the great British pub by scrapping his plans to raise already punitive duty rate.

“Wine and spirits are increasingly vital to the prosperity of our historic British pubs with wine and spirit duty accounting for more than a third of annual pub sales.

“We are calling on Philip Hammond to recognise the importance of wine and spirit industry and help save our British pubs by freezing duty, allowing them to reinvest and stay in business.

“It is proven that freezing alcohol duty has brought in more revenue for the Treasury coffers, not less. So a duty freeze makes sense for everyone – from the chancellor, to pub and bar owners, and consumers.”

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Author: Nicola Carruthers {authorlink}