Editorial by Søren Kongsgaard, Co-Founder of Kongsgaard Gin
With the start of a new decade, comes new opportunities as well as challenges that affect us all.
Dear members and readers,
Closing the books and planning ahead, have let us reflect on what we have learned and what’s to come. 2019 was another year of expansion for Kongsgaard Gin, both externally as well as internally. We added new strong profiles to the Board, achieved significant milestone goals, further growth and penetration on new and existing markets, and took another award home for the cabinet.
Right place, at the right time
We celebrate the 4th. year of operating in London, the geographic melting pot of gins rebirth. Taking a step back, this move on a business, as well as a personal level, put us on the map, gave us a voice and an opportunity to actively play our part as 1st. movers of the early ‘Ginnaissance. We’ve worked with the World’s best mixologist, felt the hype of launching in the highest end of luxury retail and securing nationwide UK distribution and beyond, all with a simple approach of putting the flavours of Denmark’s incredibly aromatic apples on the spirits trade agenda.
A general shift within the spirits industry continues, with the art of mixology becoming increasingly popular, together with the rise of the small craft distillery. This was what initially sparked our interest and paved the road for the Kongsgaard mission, to create spirits that unfold their full potential in longdrinks as well as cocktails.
Overall, we’ve seen a premiumisation in the F&B market. Even for categories, which were not historically known for the highest qualities. Our breakthrough from the humble beginnings in 2014 up until today, is a story that speaks directly to the ever increasing demand for craftsmanship of original products showing true provenance, with persistent attention to detail and quality.
The doom of the boom?
The rebirth and rise of the gin category continued throughout 2019. Although recent warning signs suggests we could witness a deceleration in the Gin boom – New gin drinkers has massively multiplied, turning this into a healthy challenge, more than a concern. The Kongsgaard mindset has from the get go, been about distilling spirits looking at the categories past as well as the future, establishing a portfolio, with continued relevance, suited for the long run.
We will continue to see more experimental creations, new pink gins and heavily flavoured products, on the sweeter and more fruity side of the category. This tendency works to our advantage as well, as it recruits consumers who haven’t historically enjoyed gin – being eased into the category, followed by the urge to broaden their horizons, thus venturing further into the world of more traditionally composed gins.
The time is now
As we enter a new decade, consumers and businesses alike are looking to the future and wanting to know what they can do to safeguard the planet and its people for years to come. It’s being made clear that pour decisions have impacted the earth and its societies – some with dramatic results – and most are in agreement that the time for action has arrived.
Sustainability, veganism and health are not macro trends anymore and will continue to shape the beverage market in 2020. Consumers are increasingly focused on their physical and mental health; while also becoming increasingly conscious about the environment.
Pour with a purpose
Apart from constantly working to reduce our business carbon footprint, we took the steps to further future-proof our brand in the beginning of 2019 and set the Kongsgaard Forest Project in motion. We are bringing a forest to live, it’s actually always been in the cards, which is why trees were rooted in the Kongsgaard DNA from the start.
Every tree in the Kongsgaard forest is geo-localized and photographed, to mirror them in their own virtual universe, where we can watch them grow, communicate with the farmers and follow as they bear fruit. The trees we are planting will not only help mitigate climate change by absorbing the carbon dioxide in the air, they also have huge benefits in biodiversity, combating desertification and land degradation, particularly in arid countries in West Africa where we planted our first trees.
Fighting climate change and being CO2 neutral was always the goal, but as the Kongsgaard Forest grows it will also bring environmental, social and financial benefits to communities, by putting local farmers to work and feeding people in need.
We believe in pouring with a purpose and we strive to achieve this by taking action to help the environment and make the world a greener place. We are the first and only spirits company to partner with the Treedom organization and put this agenda in the front seat. More than 900.000 trees have been planted since the organization’s foundation.
An apple a day
Consumers are becoming more discerning about how they are drinking spirits. We are seeing not only a change in choice of serve, but also the mixers used. 2020 will be a year with more low or no sugar and overall less calorie mixers. As the war against sugar continues to rage, sour looks set to be the flavour on everyone’s lips this year, from tart cocktails that make a star of apples, lemons and limes and “Hard Seltzers” or Spritzes.
The natural delicate sweet hints in Kongsgaard Gin comes from Licorice Root, sidelined by spices and citric notes from whole lemons and fresh ginger. But the star botanical is for sure our locally sourced Danish apples, which have the ability to ingeniously embody the 3 key aromatic elements in gin: Sweet, Sour & Spice. We select a new apple sort yearly. It allows us to reflect on the seasons impact and use nature to achieve a perfect balance in our batches.
In general we believe in “Drink less but better”, you want your spirit to shine and evolve in the glass, without it being overly masked by sugar and extra flavouring. It’s also going to be essential for bars and restaurants to offer more wine-by-the-glass. This is due to a rise in quality and interest in lesser-known producers and natural wine growers. Rather than consuming a whole bottle, more consumers want to broaden their horizons and discover small craft brands.
A continued need for a bit of Danish Courage
Looking ahead we expect to secure at least 2-4 new markets this year, recruit fresh talent for the team and continuously work on product development, showcasing new expressions, further scaling of production and lastly unlocking the full potential of our Green Growth Projects.
Read more about the Kongsgaard way: www.kongsgaardgin.com
We wish all our Danish and British friends a prosperous 2020 and invite you to get in touch for collaborations, events, gifting or where ever we can help lift spirits: firstname.lastname@example.org