Gin Category Analysis

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Gin Category SWOT

The gin category of the alcohol beverage industry in the United States enjoys frequent and significant patronage from 3% of the consumers of distilled alcoholic beverages. Based on consumer perceptions, several widely American gin products (including Seagram's) have a poor taste, although they enjoy extensive levels of acceptance due to their low price.

Strengths

  • About 1% of the United States consumers (based on a survey report) drink distilled alcoholic beverages every day, and about 3% of these consumers enjoy drinking gin "several times per week."
  • Gin accounted for the sales of about 9.76 million cases of nine-liter packs of alcoholic beverages within the United States in 2019.
  • Flavored gin infused with botanicals like juniper berries as well as grains of paradise is popular in the United States. A significantly large number of craft distilleries that manufacture gin keep springing up across the USA.
  • The United States gin segment produces a diverse collection and a wide range of classic products giving various options for everyone. There are several hundreds of gin products sold in the United States.
  • Several American gin brands are doing well and have excellent user reviews. According to an article "published" in June 2018, one American brand with excellent reviews is Seagram's, which is known as America's gin, because it is "the best-selling gin" within the United States. Seagram's crown blended whiskey has a 4.3-star rating on a scale of 5 among 294 consumer reviews, indicative of a high level of customer satisfaction.
  • Several Americans love Seagram's crown blended whiskey due to its pocket-friendly price. They feel the "price of the product is low" and affordable.
  • Some other gin products highly rated among Americans include Barr Hill Gin, Floral & Fruity, Rich & Herbal, among other gin products.

Weaknesses

  • Consumers of gin products across the United States feel several products (including local products highly rated by Americans) have several flaws and shortcomings. One of these shortcomings is poor taste based on user reviews.
  • Some consumers are not satisfied with the taste of highly rated gin products across the United States. Despite being rated as "the best-selling gin" within the United States, several consumers believe Seagram's crown blended whiskey is one of the gins with a poor taste. Kittyv, Dino1018, and several other consumers individually rate the gin's taste with a 1-star rating on a scale of 5, indicative of inadequate or unsatisfactory levels of flavor or taste.
  • Seagram's crown blended whiskey has a low review among experts in the distilling industry. After 164 tastes, Seagram's crown blended whiskey barely boasts of a 2.08-star rating on a scale of 5 from 158 reviews. This collective low rating indicates that some widely accepted gin brands in the United States perform poorly based on taste despite their low pocket-friendly prices.

Opportunities

  • According to USA Today, there are prospects for the gin sector as sales have gone up in the recent past. Gin sales have increased by about 2.3% within the past year. If this trend persists, it will create more opportunities for operators in the gin segment.
  • The market size of alcoholic beverages is worth $259.148 billion as of 2020. The market will grow by a yearly CAGR of 2.5% between 2020 and 2023. The gin category of alcohol beverage segment in the United States can take advantage of this projected growth to increase its market share and sales volume.

Threats

  • Gin's sales volume across the United States has experienced a steady decline for the past eight years (between 2012 and 2019). If this trend persists, it may pose a significant threat to the future of gin.
  • The United States gin segment faces competition from external or international players. Within "the last decade," British gin products exported from Britain and imported into the United States have increased by 553%. They present significant competition to local brands.
Part
02
of six
Part
02

Gin Category - Brand Leaders

Based on the volume of gin sold, eight leading gin brands in the US as of 2018 are Seagram's Gin, New Amsterdam's Gin, Gordon's Gin, Barton's Gin, Gilbey's Gin, Fleischmann’s Gin, Burnett’s White Satin Gin, and Seagram’s Twisted Gin.

Leading Gin Brands in the US

1. Seagram's Gin

2. New Amsterdam

  • The brand's website can be access here.

3. Gordon's Gin

4. Barton's Gin

5. Gilbey's Gin

6. Fleischmann’s Gin

7. Burnett’s White Satin Gin

8. Seagram’s Twisted Gin

  • Seagram’s Twisted Gin is produced by Seagram. The company was established in the 1800s and became a franchise in 1883 with a distillery in Waterloo. The brand officially launched its extra dry gin “Ancient Bottle” in 1939 after a decade it was acquired by Samuel Bronfman. Seagram became a leading brand in the US market in the 1950s and has maintained this position until date as America’s #1 leading gin brand.
  • Unlike the Seagram's dry gin that is unflavored, Seagram's twisted gin is flavored with different flavors like lime, and apple flavors.
  • Seagram’s website can be access here.
Part
03
of six
Part
03

Gin Category - Brand Leader Analysis (1)

Seagram's Gin is branded America's number one gin brand leader. The target consumers in their marketing communications include urban millennials who are enjoying a gathering. They hold high their history in this market and highlight quality. New Amsterdam, in contrast, focuses on being a modern brand whose story is based on the future. Their brand voice is youthful and sporty in tone and imagery.


Seagram's Gin

  • Seagram's Gin has a Facebook page, in which they market their products using images of friends gathering together and drinking some gin. They include product images, in which the gin bottle would be the focal point.
  • Seagram's Instagram page expands their brand story, with duplicates of these Facebook images. Their focus is on a group of males enjoying a barbecue together with a feature of the gin in their hands. Other images include visuals of a gold background with text, as well as ready-made drinks in detailed food photography shots.
  • Upon entering their Twitter page, the words "Real wisdom from a real gin" are placed next to their profile picture. They convey this idea of wisdom, which complements the gold and royal blue brand colors. Although there are not a lot of recent posts, there are some quips and videos with paid partnerships.
  • Other social campaigns the brand has engaged in, was a recent campaign called "This Is Your Whiskey" in 2018. The focus of the brand was on authenticity, described as being for ' "new American heartland" drinkers', that is, consumers who had not been caught up in the pretentious mixology culture, but rather, wanted authentic and simple drinking experiences.
  • Some of Seagram's non-social marketing campaigns include television adverts as well as magazine adverts like "The Game Is Yours" magazine campaign. Their television ads are focused on their Seagram's Escape ready-to-drink product, where they use singer, Kelly Roland as an ambassador for the campaign. A series of magazine ads for their magazine campaign showcase a group of millennials who are about to begin their night with a Seagram gin.
  • Seagram's markets themselves with a dramatic landing page and website, which showcases their story. They prize themselves as being a flagship brand, with a timeless and classy approach to visual branding. "Tradition", "Craftsmanship" and "America's Spirit Since Always" are some words and phrases used to epitomize their narrative of realness and classic tradition.
  • Seagram's uses celebrity branding as a social-proof strategy to market their RTD product, Seagram's Escapes. A television commercial marketing this project was aired in 2016.



New Amsterdam

  • New Amsterdam does not yet have any posts on Instagram. They do, however, have a few mentions or hashtags on Instagram, in which influencers will showcase their brand or product. For example, there's an image whereby their vodka bottle has been graffiti painted on a wall, re-posts of ads, as well as being featured in posts from promotions and other social events.
  • On their Twitter page, New Amsterdam places itself alongside specialized sports game posts, particularly hockey. They post a lot of content from Barstool Sports, who also promote their brand on the Barstool Rundown. They align themselves with Spittin Chiclets, NHL, Lakers and other sports brand in the USA.
  • New Amsterdam has a YouTube page, which focuses purely on the product. The vodka is either displayed in its bottle or in a glass against a dark background with a dark neon blue light and undertones. Most of these YouTube advertisements are detailed video shots of the liquid being poured in slow motion.
  • New Amsterdam has marketed their brand through TV advertisements as well. For example, they launched a "Spittin Chiclets" TV commercial campaign with a series of ads which featured Paul Bissonnette and Ryan Whitney.
  • New Amsterdam's website conveys a modern, youthful tone in their marketing. In their brand messaging, they state clearly how they are focused on the future, and not on history. They also mention "making and entrance". This emphasizes the youthful voice of the brand.
  • There were no New Amsterdam RTD products found in the research.




Part
04
of six
Part
04

Gin Category - Brand Leader Analysis (2)

Gordon's marketing strategy looks solid and well-defined, while Barton has a shy approach when it comes to its gin, almost non-existent on social media channels.

Gordon's Gin 

  • In 2019, Gordon's Gin launched a new campaign to encourage people to clock off on time and enjoy a G&T in the early evening, relaxed and refreshed, around people we love. Built-in a playful tone, the “Clock Off with Gordon's…Shall We?” campaign is focused on communicating a simple but significant statement of seizing those moments to bring a little more joy to our days. On all three social media channels (Facebook with 84,586 followers, Twitter with 3,724 followers, and Instagram with approx. 17,600 followers) prevails the fresh and playful approach with a summery color palette.
  • In the summer of 2018, Gordon's Gin launched an out-of-home campaign based on digital technology and dynamic scheduling. Digital ads had been designed to react to triggers like weather, time and day of the week or purchase points. The campaign had been cleverly built to tap into the consumer’s spirit and behavior. Another example of non-social advertising is the first TV advert for Gordon's Premium Pink Distilled Gin launched in 2018. The 20-second spot seems to be focused around people`s obsession with photographing food and drink, followed by sharing those moments across social channels.
  • The brand's marketing strategy is in line with Diageo's. Gordon's Gin strives to attract consumers through the combination of creative instinct and data-led insight in marketing and innovation. Gordon's overall strategy is to be available in the right format and locations for its consumers. The brand achieves its goals through trend-driven product launches and playful marketing campaigns.
  • Gordon's Gin is marketing RTD products like G&T or low-alcohol gin and tonic premixes.

Barton Gin 

  • Barton 1792 Distillery is present on social networking sites like Facebook (50,362 followers) and Twitter (1,565 followers). Its advertising strategy is focused on 'new beginnings and hard-won accomplishments'. The brand's presence on both social media channels does not seem to be visually similar and tied together by a common theme. The approach is focused on the distillery's bourbon production and the free tours offered all year-round. No reference to their gin has been made on distillery's official Twitter or Facebook page.
  • The brand has successfully adapted its approach during COVID-19. Looking for ways to help, announced on its Facebook page that will donate one case of its Diesel 190 Proof grain neutral spirit to first responders, government agencies, charitable entities or health care. This might not be a traditional business-to-business (B2B) marketing strategy but has been appreciated by their audience. Furthermore, the distillery advertises itself as being one of the very few to offer free tours (currently suspended due to COVID-19 Pandemic).
  • The brand's overall marketing strategy is quite modest. However, those who showed their interest in organized tours have been impressed with the grandeur of its grounds and operations. Situated on 196 acres, the Distillery has 29 barrel aging warehouses, 22 other buildings including an impressive still house, and the legendary Tom Moore Spring.
  • Barton Gin is not marketing any RTD products.

Part
05
of six
Part
05

Gin Category - Brand Leader Analysis (3)

Gilbey's Gin and Fleischmann's Gin do not have dedicated social media channels but their parent brands do. When using these channels, Gilbey's parent company is more active than the company that manages Fleischmann's. While the available non-social media advertising campaigns were not current, the parent companies still market the brands as part of their offerings.

Gilbey's Gin

Social Media Channels

  • While Gilbey's Gin does not have its own social media channels, the product is manufactured and distributed by Beam Suntory, which is active on social media.
  • The Beam Suntory Facebook page is followed by over 15,000 people, and the company posts several times per month. In these posts, persons can find information about the company's work with the community, support for responsible drinking campaigns, promotion of different brands inclusive of Gilbey's Gin, and any accolades the company has received.
  • The Beam Suntory Twitter page has over 17,000 followers, and the company has made almost 2,700 tweets. The company tweets several times per month. These tweets include information about local events, promotion of their brands such as Gilbey's Gin, important partnerships, and the company's support of responsible drinking.
  • When it comes to LinkedIn, Beam Suntory has almost 128,000 followers. Posting several times per month, the company highlights its contribution to important causes such as coronavirus pandemic help funds, its investments in staff, important partnerships, and its support for responsible drinking.

Non-Social Media Marketing Campaigns

  • Most of the print and television ads for Gilbey's gin are quite old.
  • However, the brand was acquired by Beam Suntory in 2018 and as such it is usually promoted as one of the company's brands of gin.

Overview of Marketing Strategy

  • Beam Suntory has a marketing code that informs all its decisions regarding the promotion of all its brands, which includes Gilbey's Gin.
  • In this code, all marketing campaigns must be geared towards adults, promote responsible drinking, and not be associated with any violent activities linked to excessive drinking.

RTD Product Marketing

  • While not exclusively associated with Gilbey's Gin, the parent company, Beam Suntory has an RTD line. This includes a canned beverage that has 3% alcohol. Its distribution focus is, however, in Asia.

Fleischmann's Gin

Social Media Channels

  • This product is made by Fleischmann's Distillery, which is a subsidiary of Sazerac Co. There are no social media platforms specifically dedicated to Fleischmann's Gin, but Sazerac has social media profiles on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • The Sazerac Co. Twitter Page has almost 1400 followers, and is considered to be an official career page. The tweets are sporadic as the company posted mainly job vacancies in 2014, before tweeting about its new interactive website in 2017.
  • The company's LinkedIn page is more active and has over 25,000 followers. While it still posts job openings, there are also posts about local events, awards that products have received, and informative promotions for Sazerac brands.

Non-Social Media Marketing Campaigns

  • A number of print ad samples available are old, such as this one from a magazine.
  • Another one that's considered vintage, dates back to 1966.
  • It's possible that the company focuses on distributing the product, then have the distributors market their offerings.

Overview of Marketing Strategy

  • Overall, Sazerac Co. has adopted a strict policy for its advertising. This entails limiting its ads to radio, television, print media that market to a mostly mature audience.
  • The company will also limit its advertising during certain times, such as "Spring Break", and will put restrictions on brand appearances in video games.

RTD Product Marketing

  • While not specific to Fleischmann's Gin, Sazerac Co. has a line of cocktail ready to drink beverages on the market.
Part
06
of six
Part
06

Gin Category - Brand Leader Analysis (4)

An overview of the marketing practices across traditional channels and social media for the Burnett's White Satin Gin and Seagram's Twisted Gin products is provided below. This overview includes a summary of recent messaging approaches and themes and detail on ready-mixed drinks produced by the brand.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING MESSAGES

  • Burnett's Gin does not have a dedicated social media presence across Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Social media activities are performed via the corporate owner's accounts (Heaven Hill Brands). Heaven Hill has yet to make a Burnett's Gin related post on its Facebook account or Twitter account and does not have an Instagram account. Heaven Hill has a broad range of products and brands generating significant competition for marketing attention. This may explain the lack of social media presence for Burnett's Gin.
  • Seagram Gin's Instagram account focuses on its flagship Extra-Dry Gin product. Seagram's Twisted Gin line features infrequently and without a consistent targeted message. Instead, the Seagram Twisted Gin line is linked to seasonal events such as holidays or with the strong suggestion to use the product in various cocktail recipes.
  • Seagram Gin's Twitter account has not made a post related to its Twisted Gin range since 2016 when the products were promoted in collaboration with the hashtag #DifferentIsWhen in an effort to represent the varied range of flavors in contrast to traditional gins.
  • In recent years Seagram Gin has tapped into the sports and athletes domain for marketing purposes with related terminology and imagery. This has mostly related to its flagship Extra-Dry product however on Facebook has also included images of products from its Twisted Gin range. Such captions have included terms such as "Unbeatable roster", "The play of the day", and "Served exclusively at everybody’s home field".

NON-SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING MESSAGES

  • In 2002 Heaven Hill altered the name of Burnett's Gin to remove the words "White Satin". The product bottle states the gin is distilled from “100% Grain Neutral Spirit” and carries the phrase “London Dry Gin” on its label.
  • Each of the flavors in Seagram's flavored gin range has an image of the respective fruit on the bottle's label to represent the flavor and perhaps to suggest the infusion of fruit rather than artificial taste enhancers.

OVERALL MARKETING THEME

  • Burnett's Gin no longer has a dedicated corporate website, instead, http://www.burnettsgin.com/ now redirects to its parent company's website for Heaven Hill Brands. On this website, Burnett's Gin is portrayed as a 'true' London-style gin, whereby its distinctive taste is generated from its distillation process rather than the addition of flavors or essences after creation. This appears to be the key marketing differentiator as the site also makes the jibe that the latter method is utilized by its competitors' products.
  • Heaven Hill's website also asserts that the product is still made using the original recipe created in 1770, perhaps lending legitimacy to the brand's endurance and quality.
  • On Seagram Gin's website, the description of each flavor in the Twisted Gin range is accompanied by a cocktail recipe suggestion. When combined with its social media activities there is clear intent to use the drinking of cocktails as a measure to improve product sales by highlighting its versatility as an ingredient.
  • This intent is exemplified by the description page of its Twisted Gin Melon flavor containing the phrase "There's more than one way to enjoy it".


READY-MIXED DRINK PRODUCT LINES

  • Burnett's Gin is not produced in any ready to drink format with no such offerings detailed on its parent company's site.
  • Seagram Twisted Gin is not produced in any ready to drink format with no such offerings detailed on its website.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "This statistic illustrates the leading gin brands in the United States in 2018, based on volume sales. In that year, Seagram's Gin was the leading gin brand in the United States with about 1.89 million 9 liter cases sold."
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "Our story isn't a history. It's a story that celebrates what's next. It's not about where you've been as long as you make an entrance. "
Quotes
  • "“welcoming,” “no frills” local dive bars, offering “memorable” experiences that include “jukeboxes, beat-up booths, graffitied bathrooms and simple drinks made by hard-working bartenders."
  • "The whiskey brand targets ‘new American heartland’ drinkers"
From Part 06
Quotes
  • "Burnett’s Gin was first produced in England more than 200 years ago. It is still distilled and produced according to the original recipe established in 1770 by Sir Robert Burnett. Burnett’s Gin is a true London distilled dry gin. Spirits and selected botanicals are distilled together to deliver a distinctive flavor, instead of adding flavoring to neutral grain spirits, as with some competitive brands."
Quotes
  • "It’s currently distilled from “100% Grain Neutral Spirit,” with no mention of the corn that the original likely began as. Additionally, Burnett’s Gin also says “London Dry Gin” on the bottle, which suggests that although inexpensive, the juniper and botanical flavor was imparted through distillation, not compounded or flavored by essences."
Quotes
  • "In 2002 the American firm Heaven Hill purchased worldwide production and distribution rights and dropped the 'White Satin' from the name."
Quotes
  • "Enjoy a gift that keeps on giving. From our home to yours, happy holidays. #seagramsgin #holidayspirit"
Quotes
  • "A relaxing night in with our Summer Nectar is just what we ordered. To make: Mix 1 part Seagram’s Peach Twisted Gin with 4 parts iced tea in a highball glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. #seagramsgin #differentiswhen"
Quotes
  • "#DifferentIsWhen you surprise your host with a much-needed drink refill. #prosonly"
Quotes
  • "A twist of honeydew and cantaloupe melon liqueurs is what makes Seagram’s Melon Twisted Gin so special. It goes down easy with its hint of sweetness. Combined with mixers, there’s more than one way to enjoy it."