RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


The Gin Guild warns against 'misleading' marketing for no and low-alcohol drinks

The Gin Guild held up Warner's 0% Botanic Garden Spirits (pictured) as a leading example of clear, compliant marketing for no and low-alcohol products


The Gin Guild has issued a scathing rebuke to spirits producers that 'freeload' on the success of the category in the marketing of their no and low-alcohol products.

Several alcohol-free and low-alcohol products launched recently have tried to "piggyback" on the established category of gin, despite not meeting the legal requirements of the category, the guild said.

Gin is a protected category in UK and EU law and products labelling themselves as 'gin' must have a minimum ABV of 37.5%, among other requirements. 

Nicholas Cook, director general of the Gin Guild, said some new brands were "deliberately misrepresenting" their no and low-alcohol products.

"There is nothing wrong with making or selling non-gin products, but the gin industry cannot permit brands freeloading on the success of the category. They must market themselves honestly and ensure they do not deliberately or inadvertently mislead consumers," he said. 

"The gin industry has diversified and grown over the last few years. This has led to a number of businesses working to differentiate themselves from one another. However, the line must not be crossed when it comes to accurately describing what is and what is not gin."

By comparision, Mr Cook commended Diageo brand Gordon's on the recent launch of its alcohol-free Gordon's 0%, which adhered to regulations and was not described as gin. He also flagged up the 0% Botanic Spirits range from fellow Gin Guild member Warner's Distillery as an example of marketing such products carefully and correctly.

Mr Cook said: "Like all serious players in the gin industry, they are very aware of the need to respect gin terminology and protect the heritage of the category, while being able to build on their established and distinctive branding."

Tom Warner, of Warner's Distillery, said: "As an established gin producer entering this non-alcoholic space, we were very conscious about getting it right and not risking misleading the consumer in any way."

Over the past 12 months, the Gin Guild has secured the withdrawal or remarketing or several low-ABV drinks incorrectly described as gin and established a primary authority partnership with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards for regulatory advice for the gin industry. 


26 January 2021 - Bethany Whymark