Alcohol Christmas #1: Will Gin be most searched this December?

Emily Hogarth, 23 Nov 2018

Prosecco may have been the festive favourite over the last few years, but will this still be the drink of choice this Christmas time? Looking at what people have been searching for, we predict that Prosecco won’t be number 1 this December….

Prosecco for Christmas

Last Christmas we gave Prosecco our hearts, with 489,000 bottles of the Italian sparkler being bought across supermarkets and off licences two days before Christmas.

In fact, Prosecco accounted for almost 65% of Sainsbury’s sparkling wine sales last year. It’s clearly not just a Christmas treat.

The chart below shows three years worth of search data across alcohol categories.

We can see that ‘Sparkling wine’ (which includes Prosecco, Champagne, Cava etc.) dramatically peaks each December, and is continuing to grow:

Search volume for Alcoholic Drinks in the UK

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But we can also see a more impressive growth happening over the last 3 years….

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Make mine a Gin and Tonic

This chart also reveals the strides Gin has made in public consciousness, growing by 103% in search volume from December 2015 to December 2017.

Again, Christmas is Gin’s most searched time, and may well give Prosecco a run for its money this year…

In 2017 Brits spent £36m on gin alone in the week before Christmas, and sales saw an uplift of 45% YoY.

If we isolate the two trend lines, we see that in December 2017 Gin was only 251k behind Prosecco in search volume:

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Even more glaring, is that in June 2018, Gin took over Prosecco in search volume for the first time, and remains dominant for the rest of 2018. In fact, Prosecco has its lowest September in three years, as Gin has its highest.

With the phenomenal growth of Gin, and the fact that its taken over Prosecco in search in 2018, all evidence is suggesting Gin will be the drink of Christmas 2018.

Gin’s all round!

Some supermarkets have already got wise to this trend and have Gin landing pages that offer ideas for Gin mixers and cocktails. Asda even has a Gin guide:

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Top alcohol terms Christmas 2017

Below are the top alcohol terms last Christmas:

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Its interesting to see some brands performing so high; Jack Daniels, Baileys and Hendricks.

David Elliot from Kantar made the observation:

“Hendricks seems to really punch above its weight, being the 7th most searched Alcohol term! Considering in sales terms it’s a fraction of the size of something like Gordon’s (not even in the top 10 search terms in Gin), it suggests William Grants (owners of Hendricks) should be doing more to leverage this share of search.”

To see further top alcohol terms for specific drinks from last December, download our full report.

2018 Christmas drinks

Prosecco still has huge value online during the Christmas period, but it’s clear that Gin will present just as big an opportunity in 2018. The savvy alcohol retailer should be prepared for this high online demand for both drinks.

Merry Christmas, and cheers!

Please drink responsibly.

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