Reflections on where we are – Porter’s Gin

How has the Coronavirus crisis impacted your business so far?

We had a focus almost exclusively on the on-trade. Both in the U.K. as well as China, Singapore, HK, Japan, Italy, New York and France.  Ie everywhere that had a significant lockdown, where all bars were closed.  So our sales for this year are down by 90% I’d say. 

What changes have you had to make to adapt to ‘the new normal’?

Lots of video calls of course – but we did this already so not a huge change. Mainly it is about scrambling together methods of making more sales happen online – which isn’t easy if you aren’t set up for it. 

What positives/upsides do you see in these weird times?

We’ve had time to plan, which is the single biggest upside

How’s life at home?

Hard with homeschooling as well but we’re quite used to working at home otherwise. 

What are your hopes and plans for the next few months?


And the coming year?

We hope to grow our sales in the US market. We also hope to release a couple of new products. 

How do you think this will affect the Scottish Gin industry as a whole?

Things are getting more polarised anyway, but this situation is accelerating it. So brands are going hyper-local, or they’re competing on price for retail listings. Consumers are going for practical price points and are willing to buy supermarket products over independents, but on the other hand, local experiences are still growing. 
The U.K. and Scottish gin industry has probably / maybe already missed the chance to regulate it more and premiumise in order to protect exports over other countries, which is a bigger threat than the current crisis.  For that reason, the gin industry will not be able to grow in value like whisky exports.

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