The rising popularity of craft spirits is pushing big brands off the shelves, research shows
The number of “boutique” distillers is now pushing big brands off the shelf, said accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.
In Scotland the number has grown by 50 per cent in the past year, with 12 opening in 2015, and 18 in 2016.
James Simmonds, of UHY Hacker Young, said: “Both the craft spirits and the craft brewery sectors are going through a period of explosive creativity.
“You can see that in everything from the logos, branding and advertising.
The craft beer and craft spirit sectors have gone through a period of 'explosive creativity'
“The quality of the product is streets ahead of their big-brand competitors. It is no wonder that the global drinks giants are worried, and the best way they have found to deal with competition is get out the chequebooks and buy them.”
The boom in the sector is also being fuelled by a flurry of merger and acquisition activity, as the global giants attempt to get in on the artisan market.
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They include one for Scottish-based Spencerfield Spirit Company, owner of the Edinburgh Gin brand, bought by Ian Macleod Distillers, Scotland’s 10th largest whisky producer.
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Along with Edinburgh Gin, Spencerfield makes whisky under the Pig’s Nose, Sheep Dip and The Feathery brand names.
England saw a 25 per cent increase in new distilleries over the past year, from 28 to a record 35, with UK sales of gin breaking though the £1billion mark for the first time in 2016.