Juniper, spices and other things

By: Ipacs Tamás Date: 2023. 06. 06. 10:57

According to a report by IWSR, Hungarian gin sales jumped 50% in 2021, and data from NielsenIQ basically reveals the same for 2022.

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2023/5

Volume sales of gin are below the level of other spirit categories, but the positive trend is obvious. Many pálinka distillers are experimenting with gin production, and this may give further impetus to the category.

Dynamic growth

Kovács Dávid Gábor, Zwack

Dávid Gábor Kovács
marketing director

Dávid Gábor Kovács, marketing director of Zwack Unicum Nyrt.:

“Discounters are adding branded gins to their temporary or permanent product selections. Gin sales are also growing dynamically in tobacco shops”.

Zwack is present in the Hungarian gin market with the Hungarian Kalumba brand, and with Tanqueray and Gordon’s – all three are in the premium category. NielsenIQ reported that in February 2023 Kalumba Madagascar Gin’s share in retail was 28% (MAT), which was a market leader position.

Attila Piri, marketing director of Heinemann:

Piri Attila, Heinemann

Attila Piri
marketing director

“We expect the gin category to continue growing in 2023, but realistically speaking we can’t say that sales will surge 50% year after year”.

Heinemann’s portfolio covers every category, for instance in the standard segment Finsbury is the number two imported gin in retail. In 2022 the flavoured gin Finsbury Wild Strawberry was launched in Hungary. In the premium category the company distributes Roku, Larios and Ophir gins.


More branded gins to choose from

Vajda Márton, Coca-Cola

Márton Vajda
premium spirits and 
coffee manager
Coca-Cola HBC

Márton Vajda, premium spirits and coffee manager of Coca-Cola Magyarország:

“We calculate with further double-digit sales growth in the Hungarian gin market. Currently we are the distributors of the Bombay and Oxley gin brands, as part of the Bacardi-Martini portfolio, which we acquired in 2022”.

Oxley competes in the super-premium category, while Bombay is positioned as a premium gin.

Péter Bárány, brand owner of Búzavirág gin:

Péter Bárány
brand owner
Búzavirág gin

“There are two reasons behind the expansion of the Hungarian gin market. Smaller companies – some of them are only selling online – are now also importing gin, and Hungarian gin production is developing rapidly”.

In the past 1-2 year flavoured gins began to be popular. Typically these target younger consumers, in most cases women. With these gins we don’t primarily target our existing buyers, but trying to bring in new gin drinkers from the flavoured vodka segment”.

According to analyses, domestic sales of gin grew by 50-50% in 2021 and 2022

Flavours and colours

Zwack Unicum Nyrt. rolled out two flavoured Kalumba variants in the spring of 2022, and Mango and Blood Orange are both performing above the expectations. Gin and tonic is still the most frequent form of consumption, and flavoured gins have brought a new colour to this segment. The majority of consumers who drink flavoured gins typically like it if the drink’s colour remains vivid even after mixing it with tonic.

Heinemann’s observation is that shoppers are on the lookout for new kinds of gins. Gin has become a category where several new innovations are launched. For instance in Roku gin juniper isn’t the most characteristic flavour anymore. Scapegrace Black – the colour of which comes from various plants – is special because it turns pink if mixed with tonic.

Their makers create the perfect gin-tonic for every gin type

It’s perfect!

Coca-Cola Magyarország has a brand ambassador who puts great emphasis on training bar and restaurant staff, from the basics to making the perfect Bombay gin and tonic. The company participates in the spring and summer gin festivals, because these are the places where they can get in touch with gin buyers directly.

Búzavirág has been successfully educating consumers, and the company is happy to see if Búzavirág gin is enjoyed with a slice of orange, instead of lemon – just the way the company dreamt it. Búzavirág wants to offer an alternative to international gin brands, and does its best to become a “love brand”. //

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