Branching Out project assesses market potential of NZ grown gin botanicals

Te Puna Umanga Venture Taranaki, the regional development agency for Taranaki, recently completed further research into the demand for locally produced gin botanicals, including juniper berries, angelica, orris, and liquorice root.

The project is currently working to advance the various ventures to a ‘launch stage’, with clear models for investment required to enable commercial implementation.

“Market and consumer research is key to establishing commercial viability,” says Michelle Bauer, Branching Out Project Manager. “As much as possible, the project team are working to confirm to stakeholders that the selected locally grown products address specific business needs of the related industries and have a tangible value in the commercial environment.”

Over the past three months, the Branching Out team have worked to validate the Gin Botanicals commercial use case to provide further confirmation that NZ-grown gin botanicals can provide commercial value to the distilled spirits industry. 

The project partnered with Distilled Spirit’s Aotearoa, and our region's own Juno Gin, to put out an industry-wide invitation to participate in the study. Fifteen distilleries of various production sizes and two botanical wholesalers agreed to be interviewed.  

The interviews concluded overwhelming support and a preference for locally grown botanicals should they become available, with most willing to pay a premium.  

The perceived benefits of locally grown botanicals were seen be: 

  • Boosting brand storytelling through unique flavour profiles and quality local produce 
  • Environmental factors gained through reducing shipping and sustainable production 
  • Ability to support local businesses and having direct relationships, improving communication with suppliers 

While the benefits were clear, participants highlighted the need for consistent supply and flavour profile – non negotiables for distillers. 

A report detailing these findings and more will be available for download from the website in early 2024.  


Additional information: 

Branching Out is a long-term strategic project for Taranaki, developed from Tapuae Roa and aligns with the Taranaki 2050 Roadmap, the region's strategic vision for a low-emissions future. 

Since 2020 the Branching Out project has identified, investigated, and validated diversification opportunities and high-value food and fibre ventures for the region to ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of the food and fibre sector and the communities it supports. The current phase of the project will specifically test each venture's viability, their value, and potential for export by conducting growing trials across the region. 

Click here to learn more about Branching Out