Scotland business

Distillery growth supports Scottish gin boom

Carlo Valente Image copyright Chris Watt Photography
Image caption Carlo Valente said Scottish gin companies were increasingly focussing on exports to countries like China

One of Scotland's fastest growing independent gin makers said it expected the current boom in demand for the product to continue for years.

Carlo Valente, of Stirlingshire-based Boe Gin, made the comments as the producer announced a big rise in sales.

Its total figure from March 2018 to February this year was £8.5m - up from £1.1m the previous year.

The Scotland Food and Drink industry group has predicted gin will outstrip Scotch sales by 2020.

A total of 70% of the UK's gin is produced in Scotland.

Boe Gin is owned by liqueur firm Stiffy's Shots Limited and was launched in 2007 and is distilled in the village of Throsk.

Supermarket interest

Mr Valente put the company's growth down to launching a series of flavoured gins, while investing in the business and employing more sales staff.

Asked if demand for Scots gin might start to slow down at some point, he told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "No, all the signs are it will continue. The UK gin market's worth £1.6bn, plus half a billion in export sales, so it's worth about £2bn.

"Experts predict that will grow to possibly £3bn by 2020 and continue growing to 2022."

Mr Valente added that his company's annual profit increase of more than £1.1m was also helped by getting its products onto the shelves of supermarket chain Morrisons.

He said the Scottish industry was now focussing on increasing exports.

"We initially got told that flavoured gin wasn't for Spain - we're now sending a lot of flavoured gin to Spain. And we've just sent a variety of gins over to China, so we'll be focussing on exports too."

Last week another supermarket chain, Lidl, put 10 new Scottish craft gins on its shelves, as it launched an in-store gin festival.

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