Made in Chelsea star’s low abv gin alternative goes on shelf in Sainsbury’s

Former City broker and Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews’s low abv ‘CleanGin’ brand has gone on shelf nationwide in Sainsbury’s.

Spencer Matthews attending his launch of The Clean Liquor Company, at The Trading House in London. The company is launching the world’s first 1.2% abv ‘CleanGin’, an ultra-low alcohol replacement to gin, with only 4 calories per 50ml.

Matthews launched the distilled 1.2% abv ‘spirits’ in November last year, after collaborating with Justin Hicklin, a former-director and member of the Gin Guild, to plug a gap in the drinks market that tasted like London dry gin, rather than “an expensive botanical cordial or some floral concoction”, he said at the time.

Matthews, who also previously confirmed that Bourbon and rum alternatives were in the pipeline, said the response to the drink following its launch was “incredible” and he was thrilled it was now available nationwide in Sainsbury’s.

“CleanGin is a perfect choice for anyone who wants to enjoy an adult drink without the negative effects often associated with alcohol,” he said.

Sainsbury’s buying manager Joe Imich, said the no and low alcohol trend was “really exciting” with the retailer seeing a noticeable increase in customers exploring this area, and searches for these products on its website up 50% year-on-year.

“This is an area of constant innovation, and we’re always on the lookout for new, distinctive products, like CleanGin, to add to our collection,” he said.

CleanGin is available in 496 Sainsbury’s store (RRP: £25 per 700ml).

Following the launch, Matthews told db about his mission to create a new ‘clean’ drinks category with the low abv ‘spirit’ brand along with his ambition to change the way consumers order drinks at the bar, by making it normal to order a ‘clean’ – ie low abv alternative alongside regular strength spirits.

He confirmed the company was in talks to secure a “seven-figure” sum from an unnamed investor in the US.

Sales of non-alcoholic ‘gin’ and ‘spirits’ alternatives have soared in the UK, driven by the success of the innovative non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ Seedlip, which launched its first botanical drink in 2015. Distill Ventures, a Diageo-funded spirits innovation ‘incubator’ soon bought a minority stake in the business in 2016 and the brand was subsequently snapped up by the drinks giant itself last year – the second brand Diageo has acquired through the accelerator programme after German vermouth brand Belsazar.

Seedlip was listed in Sainsbury’s in March last year. 

Under EU regulations, gin requires a minimum ABV of 37.5%.

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