Pan-European distiller Stock Spirits Group is making its first steps into the non-alcoholic spirits category with a new 0% abv gin-style product.

The non-alcoholic spirit will be launched in Germany from June of this year, Stock Spirits CEO, Jean-Christophe Coutures told Just Drinks.

It will be sold under the brand Finsbury, through which Stock Spirits markets a range of gins, including London Dry, Finsbury 47 and a flavoured drink named Finsbury Wild Strawberry.

Stock Spirits plans to launch the product into “other markets” in Europe later in 2024.

Priced at a RRP €11.99 ($13.12), to be in line with the rest of the Finsbury range, the alcohol-free product will be available through retail and on-premise locations, the group said.

The company did not provide details on where the alcohol-free spirit was being produced.

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When asked whether the company had been funding the development of any specific technology to develop the alcohol-free product, Coutures said it had invested with 0% innovation in mind at its new distillery in Lublin, Poland, due to open in May this year.

Coutures added: “When we invested in that distillery, we made sure that we did invest as well in [a] micro-distillery to be able to do a lot of testing and learning to be able to play around the different level of alcohol in order to bring that to consumers at one stage.

“That’s why it’s so important to ‘in-house’ a lot of that because it gives you a lot more weapons to be able to be critical in that space.”

Speaking about the challenges, Stock Spirits faced in developing and marketing low-and-no products, Coutures said the strongest challenge “has been product integrity”.

“When you do a 0% alcohol gin brand, it’s important that it tastes like gin… I think that this is why, for example, it’s always been extremely difficult to do a 0% alcohol whisky, because it’s very, very difficult to keep the DNA or the taste profile of the product while having a zero percent alcohol strength product”.

Coutures added “the most difficult thing is propose innovation to consumers while keeping the integrity of the category that the product [belongs] to”.

While the 0% gin-style spirit marks Stock Spirits’ first venture into the non-alcoholic category, the group already has an established presence in lower-alcohol products.

The performance of the company’s lower alcohol offering was key to its growth in 2023, according to Coutures.

He said: “In Paris and Czechia, the market was negative last year, [getting] hit by around -5% to -6%. We have managed to grow in those markets last year and a lot of that growth came from [the] lower alcohol proposition in flavoured vodkas in Poland, [such as] a brand called Żołądkowa Gorzka and Lubelska, [and] a brand called Božkov in Czechia.”