ChangesWe reflect on five busy years and plan for the future.
Published: 6th October 2022
As we look to celebrate our 5th Birthday in December this year, we’ve taken some time to look back on some of the original objectives we set out to achieve as a business founded by two gin consumers who were super passionate about Scottish Gin. Position Scottish Gin as a premium spirit crafted with care and skill and love in Scotland along with growing the world’s largest premium resource for all things Scottish Gin; a platform focused on publishing engaging and original content that helps consumers and trade discover Scottish Gin.
Along the way, we’ve established International Scottish Gin Day and launched our online shop, the largest independent online retailer of Scottish Gin, and this year we launched The Gin Cooperative Awards. Everything we’ve done has always been to help showcase the Scottish Gin category. Yes, we’re a commercial business and we make no bones about it. We work hard and we’ve continued to invest in the business. We genuinely care about the success of the Scottish Gin category. If it succeeds, we all succeed right across the supply chain. And as the industry has continued to change and evolve so has The Gin Cooperative.
Scottish Gin is all we have lived, breathed, talked about and drank consistently over the last 5 years. Touring Scotland visiting our members, capturing images, videos and industry insight. Our growth has also come from forging relationships, building a community around Scottish Gin, getting to know other passionate people, businesses and organisations who either work exclusively in the world of Scottish Gin or the wider spirits category. We’ve been inspired and we’ve inspired. We’ve collaborated and created. We’ve learnt and discovered. We’ve seen parts of Scotland we would never have seen if we hadn’t been afforded the opportunity to travel thanks to what we do. And we’ve been given a unique opportunity to go behind the distillery door.
We always set out to have a membership fee that was the same for all; that provided value for money and collectively through what we do would help raise the bar for how Scottish Gin was seen by consumers and trade. Our annual membership fees have allowed us to grow the business and each year reinvest in our website, create content and share the amazing stories, brilliant brands and wonderful Scottish Gins from our members. As a business, this model and the growth and retention of our members has reinforced we’re doing something right. We’re adding value to the term Scottish Gin and we’re trusted by our members as a positive voice for the industry. But long term we always wanted to get the business to stage where we didn’t require a membership income to do what we love. We feel that time is now.
As of November 1st, we’ll be removing the membership element of our business. So what does this mean for existing members and the wider Scottish Gin category? We will continue to focus on creating rich, engaging, original content that’s published to showcase the stories, products and people. We will continue to shoot original photos and videos, along with getting out on the road and visiting Scottish Gin producers. The Gin Cooperative will continue to be the online home of Scottish Gin and a positive voice for the industry.
Although we have always conducted ourselves with integrity, ensuring all brands and members were treated equally, removing the membership element will allow us to create more op ed features and reviews, and to look at the current topics, trends, challenges and issues we see facing the industry. Talking points that can generate discussion. Removing the membership will also allow us more time to focus on our editorial schedule and ensure we can continue to showcase Scottish Gin in the ways we feel works best. We will continue to work with the businesses, brands and people who have supported us and where we see brands adding value and have a genuine investment in the success of the Scottish Gin category, we will be there to champion and support.
All our digital channels will undergo a five figure investment over the next 12 months so we can realise our plans for continued growth but also ensuring that our resources reflect the true story of Scottish Gin. The Gin Cooperative website will continue to focus on editorial content created to educate and inspire along with growing our A-Z of Scottish Gin. The International Scottish Gin Day website will also undergo a refresh. The Gin Cooperative Awards will also be moved to its own dedicated website, which will provide the opportunity to expand our awards programme year on year.
We’ll be moving our online shop to a new dedicated website along with a new brand and social media channels – Scottish Gin.com, which will provide more scope for us to grow as the largest independent online retailer of Scottish Gin. With over 320 products and over 100 brands already listed, we will continue to grow an online shop that is as much about educating the consumer about the products we stock as it is about sales.
We’re extremely grateful for all the support we’ve had from our members, the gin community and supply chain. Genuinely we have loved being part of the journey for so many of our members, seeing them succeed and work hard every day building their brands, businesses and portfolio of spirits. We have always seen our members as collaborators, friends and colleagues in the industry and it’s been one of the many benefits of doing what we do. We can’t reiterate it enough: we’ve made friends for life, enjoyed some truly amazing experiences and been allowed to do something we love.
As the gin category as a whole faces the future with uncertainty and challenges, removing the membership fee is just one way we wanted to give something back to the people who have supported us, championed us and put their faith in us. What started as an idea in 2014, became a reality in 2017 and has continued to grow year on year. We’re proud of what we’ve done so far with The Gin Cooperative and very much look forward to the next stages of our own business journey and remaining a positive voice for the Scottish Gin category.
We will email all existing members to let them know in detail about their membership status and will ensure our outstanding commitments are completed in due course.