Greenall's pink gin

Pink gin’s hidden sugar hit

February 12, 2020
By Alana House

Independent analysis commissioned by Quintessential Brands has revealed surprising levels of hidden sugar in Australia’s Instagram darling, pink gin.

Gin is one of the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage categories in the country, having risen by 17% since 2018, with pink gin an increasingly popular sub-category.

However, some of the market’s best-selling, flavoured gins can contain up to 69g of sugar per litre, equating to 9.6 teaspoons of sugar in a standard 700ml bottle.

Alcohol brands in Australia are not required to label sugar content on their products, which means that many people are unaware that some popular brands contain sugar, while others do not.

Quintessential’s Greenall’s Wild Berry Pink Gin contains no added sugar. It’s handcrafted by Britain’s oldest distillers, G&J Distillers, which have been producing gin since 1761.

New research conducted by The Digital Edge on behalf of Greenall’s Gin in Australia, has delved into how consumers feel about the high sugar content in alcohol beverages (including flavoured gins), and their sentiment around what they wish to see changed.

The data uncovered:

  • A fifth of respondents were shocked to find out that some alcoholic drinks (like flavoured gins) contain over 9 teaspoons of sugar per 700ml bottle
  • More than four out of five Australian consumers (86%) believed sugar content should be clearly labelled on bottles of alcoholic beverages (which current legislation doesn’t enforce)
  • One in eight consumers (12%) are unaware that some alcoholic drinks (including flavoured gins) contain hidden sugar
  • Of all states, consumers in NSW and VIC (14% of NSW and VIC metro respondents) were the least aware of the fact that alcoholic drinks contained sugar
  • Nearly half of Australians (48%) felt shocked, angry, uninformed and worried about the fact that some alcoholic drinks contain up to 69g of sugar per litre
  • More than three quarters (79%) would like to be able to check the sugar content in their alcoholic beverage before they purchase it

Rob Curteis, Global Marketing Director of Greenall’s Gin and brand owner Quintessential Brands said: “More than ever, Australians are highly conscious of what they consume and are demanding transparency when it comes to sugar content.

“In response to this, Greenall’s will be rolling out a national communications initiative to ensure Australians feel well informed when it comes to flavoured gins.”

Greenall’s Master Distiller, Joanne Moore – the creator of Greenall’s Original London Dry Gin and Wild Berry Gin recipes added: “We don’t use sugar in any of our Greenall’s gins as I prefer to allow the botanical flavours to come through and provide a natural taste and sweetness that complements the juniper character.

“With our flavoured gins, the sweetness comes from the natural berry flavours infused with the gin, which is our Greenall’s Original London Dry. We work hard to balance the botanicals and natural flavours to create a smooth taste, so we don’t need sugar to mimic smoothness or mouthfeel.”

Rob Curteis concluded: “Innovation is good for the gin category and flavoured gins definitely have their place as they’re bringing swathes of people in to gin who previously hadn’t discovered its appeal. We also recognise that consumers want to be able to make an informed choice about how much sugar they consume.”

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