January 27, 2021

New premium non-alcoholic spirit challenges category pricing

From the old Norsk word meaning “twig” or “botany”, KVÎST is a new, premium non-alcoholic distilled spirit.  Created by The Bloomsbury Club UK, the people behind Gin Lane 1751, KVÎST is inspired by Nordic traditions and foraged forest plants, and is a handcrafted blend of eight botanicals:  juniper; silver birch; cascarilla bark; gentian; rhubarb root; orange peel; cardamom; and pimento.  There will initially be two variants: KVÎST Classica, which leads with juniper and citrus notes; and KVÎST Rosa, which is infused with herb and spice bitters, to give a pink gin style.  Both have an RSP of between £12 and £14 (70cl) and will be available to the on and off-trade sectors.

Embracing the fast-growing[1] wellness culture of mindful drinking, KVÎST is the first non-alcoholic distilled spirit which is both premium and accessible in terms of price point.  Whilst consumers abstaining from or looking to reduce alcohol consumption are actively seeking “grown up” non-alcoholic drinks[2], they are often penalised with highly priced alcohol equivalents.  Premium non-alcoholic spirits typically cost the same as a boutique gin, yet do not incur the £8.05/70cl tax of a 40% ABV spirit.  The KVÎST price point takes the zero tax into account, making the £12 – £14 RRP extremely competitive.  Demand has already been tested thanks to a trial listing in a U.K. supermarket, which resulted in 10,000 bottles sold over a three-week period.

KVÎST is expertly produced in a traditional copper pot-still in which the macerating botanicals are individually distilled in neutral grain spirit and pure water.  The alcohol is then removed before blending and bottling.  This innovative technique ensures the flavours of juniper – which does not dissolve in water – and the other botanicals can be retained without alcohol.  

KVÎST can be enjoyed neat, over ice, or in “mocktails”.  It makes the perfect non-alcoholic “gin and tonic”, for which, because botanicals are naturally more delicate in a non-alcoholic spirit, a ratio of 50:50 is recommended.

KVÎST is available via distribution agency, Craftwork.  Commenting on the launch, managing director Jeremy Rockett said: “Craftwork are delighted to be working with KVÎST.  It’s bang on trend currently, tastes fantastic, and gives consumers a unique opportunity to access a high-quality, non-alcoholic distilled spirit at a very reasonable price-point.  We’ve already had huge interest from customers and feedback from consumers suggests that KVÎST over-delivers against expectations.”

[1] In the UK, the category was worth £37m in 2019, up 506% versus 2014, and is forecast to more than double in size again over the next five years (Source: Verdict Drinks) 

[2] In the UK, 59% of people are ordering non-alcoholic drinks on nights out when they are also drinking alcohol, compared with only 29% who are drinking solely alcoholic drinks.  (Source: CGA)