The continued gin boom is just the tonic for Scottish distilleries as Co-op more than doubles the number of its local spirit suppliers.
As part of Co-op’s plans to mark Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight - which this year runs until Sunday 15 September - the retailer has worked with Elgin-based Gordon and Macphail to top up its gin range after seeing a 75% jump in sales since it first partnered with the wholesale specialist in 2017.
Approaching 30 Scottish gin makers from areas including: Aberdeen, Aviemore, Berwick; Cairngorms, Caithness; Edinburgh, Hebrides; Glasgow, Leith; Mull; Shetland; Stirling and Skye now supply more than 100 of the Co-op’s food stores across Scotland with a selection of flavoured, pink and premium local gins.
Pictured are brothers Thomas and Alistair Wilson, who were raised on the Isle of Skye. They said, “The landscape of our mystical Isle inspired us to make our first small batch of handcrafted gin - Misty Isle Gin - and to create the first gin distillery on Skye, in the garden of our family home.
'Our recipe marries waters from the Storr Lochs and the right balance of the finest botanicals. Provenance is everything – that abiding sense of belonging and community. Thus we are proud to be building a partnership with the Co-op.”
Lucy Husband, Scotland Food & Drink's UK Market Development Director, said, 'It's great that we are continuing to see such exciting developments in the gin category, which was reflected with a record number of entries in the distilling category at our recent Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.
'We were delighted to welcome Kevin as a distilling judge and to hear that it resulted in many of the gins sampled being introduced to Scottish Co-op stores. As we celebrate Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, customers will now be able to discover, buy and enjoy a fantastic selection of Scottish gins while ultimately supporting many local producers.'
Kevin Buchan, Co-op’s Local Sourcing Buyer for Scotland, said, “Co-op is committed to creating value in its communities and the local sourcing of products is a cornerstone of this approach.
'Gin is an exciting category, with new flavours and trends emerging, and with something of a 'gin-aissance' in the category we see opportunities for sustainable growth for both established brands and newer entrants - in particular the more diverse, premium and crafted gins with a story behind the brand and ingredients including local, natural botanicals chosen for unique quality and taste.'
Fiona Fullarton, Gordon and Macphail, said, “Gin continues its dramatic growth, attracting a younger consumer who is increasingly open to discover new flavours, that deliver on quality, style and taste.
'We are delighted to work with Co-op, our company has a strong heritage in making the finest spirits and we are delighted to showcase these in communities across Scotland. Our local suppliers are providing a flavour of what Scotland has to offer, with our new range of spirits, including superb premium gins.”