Gin sales are now set to overtake Scottish whisky sales by 2020

Courtney Goldsmith
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Gin is stealing the spotlight from Scotch whisky (Source: Getty)

This year, gin stole the spotlight as Britain's most popular spirit, and now its sales are set to overtake Scotch whisky within the next few years.

Back in 2010, gin sales were a measly £774.9m compared to whisky's £1.29bn, according to Euromonitor data.

The research firm predicted gin sales will continue to rise well into the future and will exceed Scotch whisky by at least 2020 with expected sales of £1.37bn compared to whisky's £1.17bn. Whisky, on the other hand, will remain relatively flat.

This year, gin and whisky sales are neck-and-neck with expected sales of £1.15bn and £1.25bn respectively.

Surprisingly, Scotland is leading the UK's gin production. Craft gin distiller Tom Warner said about 70 per cent of the UK's gin is made in Scotland, despite the spirit's popularity as a summery English drink.

Fresh faces to the distilling scene find gin easier than whisky to start producing, Warner said. That's because gin doesn't have a long ageing process, making it easier and less time consuming to make and giving distillers a quicker return on their money.

Scotch whisky is one of the UK's most valuable export markets, the Food and Drink Federation has said, but gin exports have increased by 553 per cent in the last decade, with three out of four bottles of imported gin around the world having been made in the UK.

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