WSTA Launches Low and No Alcohol Labelling Guidance

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (UK) has produced new guidance around the labeling of low and no alcohol drinks, as a record number of Brits explore low and no products.

This guidance has been produced in partnership with the WTSA’s Primary Authority Trading Standards Partners, and at the behest of both retailers and producers.

With the popularity of the low and no alcohol category at an all-time high, and January traditionally seeing efforts by consumers to cut out or cut down on booze to start the year, drinks producers are developing new and innovative techniques to provide consumers with more choice and greater quality.

The latest data from the WSTA Market Report shows that overall alcohol sales are down compared to the same 12-month period last year. Wine and beer sales have dipped and overall, spirit sales are flat. Wine, the nation’s most popular drink, has seen a 5% decline in sales despite the boost in online deliveries.

Many new products on the market are produced to closely resemble their alcoholic counterparts – they are closer than ever before – in taste, aroma and appearance – to the spirits and spirit drinks they are providing an alternative to.

The WSTA’s new guidance aims to establish acceptable legal names, marketing text and general labeling requirements for low and no alcohol drinks.

It also looks to boost confidence for consumers in the category, helping them make informed purchasing decisions through clear, accurate, and consistent labeling – which had been retailers’ over-riding concern and motivation for asking the WSTA to offer advice that can be applicable UK market-wide.

The new guidance applies to low and no alcohol drinks that are packaged and marketed as a substitute or alternative to spirit drinks and is designed to complement existing – and any future – Low Alcohol Descriptors Guidance produced by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said:

“There has been a huge amount of innovation and product development across the low and no alcohol category in recent years. Confusion – for producers and for consumers – led to a request of the WSTA to pull together comprehensive advice. Along with our Primary Authority partners, we have produced this new guide to help both producers and consumers.

We know that overall alcohol sales fell during 2020. Many Brits want to start 2021 by reducing the amount of alcohol they drink, or cutting it out completely, which is why I am delighted to have been able to publish this guidance so early in the year.

Many of our members are making it easier than ever for us to choose a lower-alcohol, or no alcohol alternative, without compromising on taste or quality. Our new guidance will help producers label and market their products with greater confidence, and will help promote clear, accurate and consistent labeling across the category, boosting consumer confidence.”

Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, at Salford City Council said supporting businesses to comply with the law and promoting best practice is central to the council’s primary authority advisory work with the WSTA.

“Low and no alcohol drinks are a fast-growing market.  It is important that products are legally compliant and that they have clear and understandable labeling so that customers can make the right choices. Our staff were delighted to work with their colleagues in Wales to help the WSTA publish this pioneering guide,” he said.

Jonny Peacock, Strategy and Transformation Director for Pernod Ricard UK, said:

“The non-alcoholic spirits category is already growing fast, and with 30 percent of all consumers seeking to moderate, there’s no reason to doubt projections of continued growth of ~25% over the coming years. This move is welcome as it ensures clarity and certainty for producers and consumers as they increasingly engage in the category.”

Rob Curteis, Group Marketing Director, Quintessential Brands, adds:

“With many consumers today looking to create a better balance in their lives and their diets, there’s more interest in products that help them to moderate – be it low & no alcohol, or low & no sugar. They’re also wanting to enjoy good quality when they do indulge in a bit of what they fancy though – it’s not enough to simply remove the alcohol and not consider the impact on the taste, shoppers today are more discerning and expect more from these ‘alternatives.’

“With this being new territory for many producers, retailers and consumers, we welcome the WSTA’s proactive approach in giving guidance to the industry on this burgeoning category to help the consumer understand and navigate it, and also to protect the integrity of the spirits category.”

“Connaught Bar” in London is named The World’s Best Bar, as The World’s 50 Best Bars List 2020 is revealed

The World’s 50 Best Bars were announced yesterday in London via a virtual awards ceremony, with London’s “Connaught Bar” clinching the No. 1 spot.

The awards’ list is organized by William Reed Business Media, which also produces The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

The 2020 winners

This year’s list includes bars from 23 countries, with 11 new entries.

The U.K. had the strongest showing, with bars in London accounting for eight of its nine rankings. Europe took 21 spots in total, more than Asia’s 15 and twice that of the Americas — North and South America lodged 10 slots in total.

Connaught Bar is known for its martini trolley, which allows waiters to prepare drinks at your table. Singapore dominated Asia’s rankings, with four bars being named among the world’s best, an outsized showing for the city-state that is home to nearly 5.7 million people. Tokyo registered three bars on the list, while Hong Kong and Taipei each netted two.

Sydney accounts for Australia’s three rankings, while Dubai’s Zuma bar gave the Middle East its sole award.

The full list includes

Connaught Bar, London

Dante, New York

The Clumsies, Athens

Atlas, Singapore

Tayer + Elementary, London

Kwant, London

Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires

Coa, Hong Kong

Jigger & Pony, Singapore

The SG Club, Tokyo

Maybe Sammy, Sydney

Attaboy, New York

Nomad Bar, New York

Manhattan, Singapore

The Old Man, Hong Kong

Katana Kitten, New York

Licorería Limantour, Mexico City

Native, Singapore

Paradiso, Barcelona

American Bar, London

Carnaval, Lima

Salmon Guru, Madrid

Zuma, Dubai

Little Red Door, Paris

1930, Milan

Two Schmucks, Barcelona

El Copitas, St. Petersburg

Cantina OK!, Sydney

Lyaness, London

Himkok, Oslo

Baba Au Rum, Athens

Panda & Sons, Edinburgh

Swift, London

Three Sheets, London

The Bamboo Bar, Bangkok

Tjoget, Stockholm

Buck and Breck, Berlin

Employees Only, New York

Bulletin Place, Sydney

Bar Benfiddich, Tokyo

Artesian, London

Sober Company, Shanghai

Indulge Experimental Bistro, Taipei

Bar Trigona, Kuala Lumpur

Drink Kong, Rome

Room by Le Kief, Taipei

Alquimico, Cartagena

High Five, Tokyo

Charles H., Seoul

Presidente, Buenos Aires

 

This year, the voting process changed to highlight emerging bar scenes around the globe, said Mark Sansom, content editor for The World’s 50 Best Bars.

The 50 Best organization appointed an outside chairperson to 20 geographical regions around the world. Each chairperson then chose a voting panel for each region, which cumulatively formed the organization’s voting “Academy.”

“The 540-strong Academy is made up of drinks experts, including bartenders, bar managers, drinks consultants, brand ambassadors, drinks writers, historians and cocktail aficionados who are selected for their knowledge of the international bar scene,” said Sansom.

Cocktails are becoming one of Britain’s fastest-growing drinks categories, according to new research

The popularity of cocktails and the fact they are more widely available has helped boost sales through Britain’s pubs, bars, and restaurants by 10 % over the past 12 months taking the market value to £587m, says CGA’s Mixed Drinks Report Q1 2019.

The number of licensed premises selling cocktails has risen 7 % in the past year, with 42,000 on-trade outlets. Drinks-led pubs have been particularly fast to respond to demand, with a growing number opting to sell pre-prepared or draught cocktails.

Based on the on-trade, number one in the Top 10 list of mainstream cocktails is the vodka-based Pornstar Martini, served with a shot of Prosecco on the side. Sales of Pornstar Martini have risen 2 % over the past 12 months and accounting for 15.3 % of cocktails sold.

Having fallen from its top slot, the white-rum based Mojito is Britain’s second favorite cocktail, accounting for 12.4 % of mainstream sales, down 1.2 % from last year.

Occupying the rest of the Top 10 are: Long Island Iced Tea, Sex on the Beach, Daiquiri, Woo Woo, Espresso Martini, Martini, Pina Colada and Collins.

Charlie Mitchell, CGA drinks expert said: “There are two clear trends coming through in the mainstream consumer’s preference for cocktails – that of shorter, more complex drinks with a higher ABV like the Martini cocktails, but also a growing preference for longer, more refreshing drinks such as the Collins which has a more sophisticated, less sweet flavor profile.”

“Tastes have moved away from fruity, sweet drinks with the Woo Woo, Sex on the Beach and Cosmopolitan losing the most favor over the past 12 months.

“The growing popularity of Aperol Spritz and other spritz serves are part of the trend towards a lighter, more refreshing drink with a lower ABV and fewer ingredients allowing the taste of the base spirit to come through.”

CHAMPAGNE LANSON PARTNERS WITH LONDON’S ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

Champagne Lanson has just announced that they are the new official Champagne of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

The Royal Shakespeare has over one million visitors each year and they will now be pouring Champagne Lanson’s exclusive Père et Fils as well as its Vintage Gold Label 2008, its Extra Age Brut NV and its popular Lanson Rose Label Brut Rosé NV in all of its bars and restaurants.

The company operates three theatres in the market town – The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, The Swan Theatre and The Other Place – as well as four bars and restaurants including Rooftop Restaurant, Susie’s Café Bar, Riverside Café and Swan Café.

Vicki Fleming, head of catering, Royal Shakespeare Company, commented: “We are delighted to announce that Champagne Lanson, one of the oldest holders of the Royal Warrant has become our new official Champagne partner. Producing some of the world’s finest Champagnes since 1760, Lanson is the perfect fit for us. The brand epitomizes quality, style and celebration so is perfect for our audiences.”

“Sold by the glass in every theatre bar, the delicious Lanson Père et Fils Brut NV is the perfect aperitif to complement a theatre visit, while a bottle of Lanson Gold Label Vintage 2008 goes wonderfully with a special event at our award-winning Rooftop Restaurant. Lanson Brut Rosé NV, Lanson Extra Age Brut NV and Lanson Gold Label Vintage 2008 will all feature on the Rooftop wine list”.

Paul Beavis, managing director of Champagne Lanson, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the Royal Shakespeare Company. It not only allows us to showcase our multi award-winning range of Champagne to its members; but we are also convinced that Lanson’s renowned freshness and added weight from extended aging ensures that our style of Champagne is also food-friendly.

“We are delighted that the Royal Shakespeare Company is able to showcase our range to its members and guests.”

Larkin Launches Premium Canned Wine

Larkin Wines, a boutique Napa winery which specializes in premium wines, has launched the first super-premium canned wine range to hit the UK market. The wines are aimed at specialty food retailers, drink retailers and event specialists.

The range includes: Larkin Napa Valley White 2017 is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Roussane; Larkin Napa Valley Red 2017 is a 100% Merlot; and Larkin Napa Valley Pink 2018 is a 100% Pinot Noir from Carneros.

Grapes have been sourced from the same small plot vineyards used for Larkin bottlings.

How the idea came about:

“The idea for Larkin came about when I was at the beach with friends and we had no wine due to the no glass policy. I started researching alternatively-packaged wines already on the market, and quickly realized there was no offer within the super-premium category” said owner/winemaker Sean Larkin.

UK distribution will be through James Hocking Wine, the new specialist boutique Californian agency. The cans will retail in UK at £9.99 for 37.5cl.

http://jacklarkin.com/

jameshockingwine.com