spirits without alcohol

Alcohol-free spirits take hold in France

With the launch of Ceder’s by Pernod Ricard during the New Year’s Eve, sales of alcohol-free spirits in France are booming. Read more here.

The Dry January challenge was not officially accepted in France. Despite lobbying by several organisations and associations, the government decided not to support this campaign, which aims to suspend alcohol consumption for one month after the end of the year celebrations.

However, this is not a reason for non-alcoholic brands to get their place on the market. These drinks have the same manufacturing process as a traditional spirit, only they suppress ethanol. The important aspect of these alcohols is that they have a taste almost as complex as a traditional alcohol. One of the pioneers of this trend is the British brand Seedlip, an alcohol-free gin. Today this drink, after its release in 2015, can be found in several renowned bars. Among them is Little Red Door in Paris. One of the owners, Rory Shepherd, points out that “…I am more attracted to the experience than to being drunk, and this is increasingly the case with our customers“.

The trend has a way to go and big ones like Diageo show it, having bought a majority stake in Seedlip. Pernod Ricard, for its part, decided to launch the small company Ceder’s, Seedlip’s main competitor. “Ceder’s is a complex drink that results from the distillation of a dozen plants. says Ian Peart, business developer at Pernod Ricard UK. In addition, Pernod Ricard also launched a non-alcoholic drink to delight whisky lovers: Celtic Soul.

A market in progress

According to IWSR, sales of non-alcoholic spirits should increase by 80% between 2018 and 2020 on the UK market. In contrast, in general, the market with little or no alcohol should grow by 39%. Ian Peart of Ceder’s points out that in one year its sales rose by nearly 400% and the sector reached £1 million this year.

Today, non-alcoholic drinks are attracting consumers, starting with the UK. Non-alcoholic drinks are being driven by the growing trend among both young people and adults to maintain a healthier lifestyle. In France, however, the French do not drink as much non-alcoholic spirit. Between 2013 and 2017, for the first time since the Second World War, alcohol consumption stopped falling. But the general director of the French brewers’ union, Maxime Costille, points out that “we never had a generation under 30 years old that drank so little,” he continues: “There is a strong search for less alcoholic and less sweet drinks.” The low-alcohol market is growing gradually, with progress of around 20 per cent between 2017 and 2018, and 30.5 per cent, with a market share of 2.6 and 2.5 per cent.


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