No & Low: spiritsEUROPE adopts sector guidance for non- and low-alcoholic “spirits”
‘No & Low’ ‘spirits’ are a new and emerging category that enjoys growing popularity among consumers. New product launches are happening every week, and they are a strong testimonial of the innovative strength of the spritis sector to respond to changing consumer demands and to drive premiumisation.
The increasing demand for non-and-low alcoholic ‘spirits’ is part of a broader trend among European consumers to differentiate their consumption occasions. Another important element of this broader trend in spirits consumption is premiumisation which refers to consumers ‘trading up’ and switching to more premium and differentiated products and consumption experiences.
As the ‘No & Low’ product category is new, no commonly agreed framework exsist to describe and label these products. In the absence of binding rules and regulations, spiritsEUROPE’s guidance note (available here), offers helpful advice for producers of non- and low-alcoholic ‘spirits’.
Discussions on the guidance are expected to continue and evolve in the months to come in light of technological progress and innovation. The overall objective is to achieve a common understanding for clear and transparent rules on consumer information and ensure the existing ruels enable innovation and premiumisation whilst preserving tradition and protecting the existing spirits drink categories and Geographical Indications (GIs).
In parallel to the sectors’ efforts to develop guidelines, including the do’s and don’ts as well as standards on the use of terms and descriptors the European Commission is conducting studies on the no and low market across product categories. The results of the DG AGRI study, which is ongoing, are expected by the end of the year. Based on the study’s results, the EU COM’s DG AGRI may decide that legislation on the new product category is required – or not.