Made in Chelsea star’s ‘clean’ 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 director 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 has previously said Bourbon and rum alternatives were also 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 and the retailer has seen a noticeable increase in customers exploring this area, with searches of these products on our 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 a low ABV ‘spirit’ brand and his ambition to change the way consumers order drinks at the bar. 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, before Distill Ventures, a Diageo-funded spirits innovation ‘incubator’, bought a minority stake in the business in 2016. The brand was subsequently snapped up by the drinks giant last year, the second brand Diageo has acquired through the accelerator programme, after German vermouth brand Belsazar.

Seedlip is also listed in Sainsbury’s.

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