Sales of gin and flavoured gin across the retail outlets, supermarkets and online is said to have increased by 22% across the UK, according to a market report released by Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

The report suggested that gin sales have crossed billion-pound mark for the first time, with the sale of 75 million bottles, which is worth £1.2bn.

In comparison to 2019 sales figures, people purchased more than ten million extra bottles of gin from UK retailers during 2020.

WSTA’s report suggests that majority of the bottles sold were of flavoured gin.

As per the report, 27 million bottles of flavoured gin, worth £456m were sold over the last 12 months.

In total UK retailers sold approximately 48 million bottles of traditional predominately juniper tasting gin worth £716m during this period.

Off-trade sales of gin more than doubled in the over the last five years. The surge in sales is said to been aided by the Covid-19 lockdown, which led to more people buying alcohol to enjoy at home.

However, WSTA’s report indicated that the loss of the gin sales at pubs and restaurants impacted the total gins sales in the UK.

In the 12 months to October 2020, Brits spent £2.2bn on gin compared to £2.6bn during the same period last year.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “Gin has proven to be a real tonic for shoppers wanting to enjoy a bit of down time at home during a turbulent 2020. It’s fantastic to hear that some distillers will have benefited from a boost in retail sales, but we have to look at the bigger picture which shows overall gin sales are down by £400 million following the hit taken by the hospitality sector due to the pandemic this year.

“There has been a huge amount of investment poured into the world renowned great British spirit industry in recent years – and we would hate to see jobs created by the gin boom take a hit.

“British spirit makers, many of whom are SMEs, need greater support from Government to continue to grow and recover from the loss of hospitality sales. That is why, as a first and easy step, we are calling on the Chancellor to cut duty and boost British business at the spring Budget.”