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Ballantine's and Beefeater 'Light' expressions released

Pernod Ricard's UK-based Scotch whisky and gin businesses have announced two new 'light' expressions from Ballantine's and Beefeater.

Ballantine's Light and Beefeater Light - both made at 20% ABV, around half the alcoholic strength of their original expressions - are a bid by the brands to capture a corner of the growing market for lower-alcohol alternatives.

Both products will launch in Spain, a key market for both Ballantine's and Beefeater and one of the largest markets in Europe for no and low-alcohol beverages (research has shown that at least 50% of bars and restaurants in the country have no or lower-alcohol options on their menus).

Ballantine's Light is the result of months of experimentation by the Chivas Brothers blending team, led by Ballantine's master blender Sandy Hyslop. It is designed to be enjoyed in the same way as its full-strength counterpart, whether neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail.

Meanwhile, the Pernod Ricard Gin Hub's Beefeater Light is a gin-inspired spirit containing the same nine botanicals used for Beefeater London Dry. The expression launches alongside a new bottle design, inspired by Beefeater's London heritage.

Jean-Christophe Coutures, chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, said: "Our teams have been working hard to create spirit drinks that accommodate mindful drinking without compromising on flavour, and to bring Scotch and gin fans a new way to enjoy the Ballantine's and Beefeater experience.

"In line with Pernod Ricard's 2030 Sustainability and Responsibility roadmap, 'Good Times from a Good Place', we are continuing to challenge ourselves and push the boundaries in developing innovative expressions that reflect the changing lifestyles of our consumers."

Ballantine's Light and Beefeater Light will be exclusively available in Spain from January 2021 (RSP €12.45 and €13.55 respectively).

20 January 2021 - Bethany Whymark