Online retailer Amazon has launched its first premium spirits offering for the UK market. Tovess Gin is advertised as a “premium dry gin crafted to the highest quality standards” and retails for £24.99 and is 41% alcohol by volume (ABV).

The gin is produced in a distillery on the outskirts of Birmingham, using copper pot stills that the company claims are amongst the oldest in the country. Although the retailer provides products from all price segments, Amazon has targetted the premium end of the gin market in this instance. 

Can Amazon’s premium brand make it in the UK? 

Although interest in low-/no-alcohol products is growing, the alcoholic drinks market in the UK remains strong, with demand for premium yet affordable offerings becoming ever the more important. In recent years the UK gin market has seen huge growth, prompting this latest release. 

Doubling down on the advantages of eCommerce, the gin is available on Amazon Prime for free next-day delivery. Where supermarket websites are more likely associated with large grocery shopping in consumers’ minds, Amazon is more often used for specific purchases and has a wide assortment of specialist gins on offer. This fact alone will help increase the traffic of gin consumers on the site. Moreover, competition from the other products is mitigated as the first filter that consumers can select is for Amazon’s own brand.

Convenience, as is well established in the consumer space, is a highly valued commodity which is behind the exponential growth in online shopping. Consequently, companies such as Amazon with a one-click service are thriving.

Will Tovess win over the gin snobs?

The company isn’t a specialist distiller and consumers may be put off paying a premium price from a non-specialist mainstream market entrant. 

Part of the appeal of many premium gins is that they have been crafted by gin specialists. Take the no.1 bestselling gin on Amazon: Aber Falls Welsh Dry Gin. This product, from a small distillery in North Wales, sources the water used to distil the gin from an adjoining river and waterfall. The question is: will gin produced by a huge global company hold the same allure for consumers who are increasingly seeking products they see as authentic and, particularly in the case of premium spirits, small batch?

Also, although Tovess is distilled in the UK it is bottled and refined in Hamburg, Germany, thus reducing the pride that consumers can take from buying a locally-sourced product. Regardless, the gin currently has five stars (out of five) on Amazon’s site and is no.53 out of 100 on its bestsellers list, proving that so far it has been a success, albeit a somewhat modest one. Whether or not that success is due to the UK’s affection for gin, or because of Amazon’s reputation, will become clear when the rest of its range is released.

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