Research reveals the sugar roulette consumers are playing when buying flavoured gins, with some major brands containing zero sugar while others contain up to 15 teaspoons

  • Greenall’s Wild Berry Gin and Greenall’s Blueberry Gin contain zero sugar, while some other leading flavoured gin brands contain up to 90g of sugar per litre
  • Research shows that a third of consumers aren’t aware that some flavoured gins contain sugar
  • Unlike soft drinks producers, alcohol companies aren’t required by law to list sugar content on bottles, meaning consumers can’t tell whether a bottle contains sugar at the point of purchase
  • Over three quarters of consumers (77%) believe sugar content should be stated on bottles of flavoured gins

Independent analysis[1] has today revealed that sugar levels in flavoured gins available in the UK vary greatly, with some of the best-selling flavoured and pink gins on the market containing significant amounts of sugar – up to 90g per litre in some instances, which equatesto 15 teaspoons of sugar in a standard 700ml bottle. However, consumers are in the dark as the brands are not stating the sugar content on their labels.

To enable consumers to make an informed choice about whether to choose a flavoured gin with or without sugar, international spirits company, Quintessential Brands, believes that the sugar content they contain should be more clear.

The company’s flagship brand, Greenall’s, is leading the way, as the only major gin brand to not include any sugar in its flavoured pink gin variant, Greenall’s Wild Berry Pink Gin. Greenall’s Blueberry Gin, which launched last month in the UK, and Greenall’s Original London Dry Gin also contain no sugar.

Research from the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) in its biannual public attitudes tracker in November 2018 revealed that concern about sugar has risen “more than any other concern” with over 55% of respondents worried about sugar consumption[2]. However, under current UK law, alcohol brands are not required to list ingredients, including sugar, on their labels. This is in contrast to soft drinks brands which are required to clearly state how many grams of sugar they contain on the label.

Survey shows consumers want to be informed of sugar content in flavoured gin

According to a survey conducted by OnePoll[3] on behalf of Greenall’s, many flavoured gin fans aren’t aware of the high sugar content of certain flavoured gins. The survey indicated that:

  1. Nearly a third of consumers (29%) had no idea some flavoured gins contain sugar
  2. Over a third of consumers (36%) were shocked to find out some flavoured gins contain up to 90g of sugar per litre
  3. Over two-thirds of consumers (68%) would like to be able to check the sugar content of a bottle of flavoured gin before they buy it
  4. Over three quarters of consumers (77%) believe sugar content should be included on the label
  5. Two-thirds of consumers would choose a sugar-free flavoured gin over a flavoured gin that contains sugar.

The findings of the survey are published as Quintessential Brands launches its biggest-ever marketing campaign for Greenall’s, highlighting the brand’s status as the only major gin brand to contain zero sugar in its flavoured gins. The new £800,000k campaign, which features Greenall’s Wild Berry and Greenall’s Blueberry will be rolled out across the UK over the summer from 1st July and will see the brand’s no sugar message featured on billboards in London, Manchester, Birmingham and across the South-East and in the North-West, where the brand has been made for over 250 years at G&J Distillers in Warrington.

Greenall’s Master Distiller, Joanne Moore – the guardian of the original Greenall’s recipe and creator of Greenall’s Wild Berry and Greenall’s Blueberry – comments; “We don’t use sugar in any of our Greenall’s gins[4] 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, Global Marketing Director of Greenall’s Gin at brand owner, Quintessential Brands, adds; “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.”

The gin category has grown phenomenally in recent years with premium gin, flavoured gins and the emergence of a new sub-category, gin liqueurs, which are gins with over 100g of sugar per litre added. Last year, Greenall’s launched two new Greenall’s Gin Liqueurs, which are sold today in Global Travel Retail and the brand also makes a sloe gin. The Greenall’s range also Ready to Serve cans, which contain sugar.

 In the last five years, Greenall’s has risen from being outside the top 50 spirits brands in the UK off-trade to now being the 13th biggest spirit brand and the third largest gin brand in the UK behind market leader Gordon’s and just behind Bombay Sapphire. In addition to the brand’s significant advertising investment this summer, Greenall’s is taking its Wild Berry and Blueberry flavoured gins on tour across the UK this summer with the brand’s main activation taking place at Kendall Calling at the end of July.

Quintessential Brands is the reigning International Spirits Challenge Gin Producer of the Year and is renowned in the industry as the UK’s most prolific gin producer. In addition to Greenall’s, the company also makes award-winning gin brands including, BLOOM Gin, Opihr Gin, Thomas Dakin Gin and Berkeley Square Gin, none of which contain sugar. Like Greenall’s flavoured gins, BLOOM’s flavoured pink gin, BLOOM Jasmine & Rose, also contains zero sugar. The company is also emerging as a serious player in the Irish Whiskey category, having launched the Dublin Liberties Distillery in February this year, as well as owning a number of challenger brands in the Irish Cream category.


For more information, please contact the communications team at Quintessential Brands by e-mail [email protected]




Greenall’s is the Original Handcrafted London Dry Gin, distilled since 1761 by England’s longest-standing gin distillers, G&J Greenall’s Distillery in Warrington. Made with 100% British wheat paired with eight hand-picked botanicals, which are dried in the original way and added by hand to the copper pot still, Greenall’s is crafted under the watchful eye of Master Distiller, Joanne Moore, only the seventh master distiller to be the guardian of the iconic brand since 1761.

[1] Independent analysis conducted by Eurofins Food Testing UK Ltd in 2019

[2] FSA https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/attitudes-tracker-wave-17-november-2018-report_5.pdf

[3] OnePoll survey of 2000 flavoured gin drinkers, conducted June 2019.

[4] Greenall’s creates a Sloe Gin, which in accordance with the recognised EU definition of sloe gin [see (a) below], is technically a gin liqueur and consequently, contains sugar. All future production runs will see Greenall’s Sloe Gin labelled as a Gin Liqueur and will state the amount of sugar it contains on the label.

(a) Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks and repealing Council Regulation (EEC)

2019-06-26T09:22:07+01:00 June 26th, 2019|News|