Source: Freixenet Copestick

The brand said it wants to “cut through” the complexity of the gin category

I Heart Wines is moving into spirits, The Grocer can reveal.

The Freixenet Copestick brand will launch a dry gin (40% abv) and a pink gin (37.5% abv). Both are distilled and bottled in Poland at the Lubuski distillery, which is owned by parent company Henkell Freixenet.

The dry gin is billed as having “the subtle characteristic flavour of juniper berries” while the pink gin is made with juniper, strawberry and “specially selected herbs”.

They launch with Nisa from 2 December, followed by Sainsbury’s in January (rsp: £16-£17/70cl).

Freixenet Copestick head of marketing Lucy Auld told The Grocer: “The gin boom has been incredible and heaps of new brands have come to market, but at the same time people are getting to the gin fixture and not knowing what to buy. This is about cutting through that complexity.”

She added the brand had also considered a vodka – the possibility of which was still on the table. “When we did consumer research vodka scored really well – we’re just conscious that we don’t want to flood the market at the start.”

I Heart Wines has been one of the wine sector’s biggest success stories of recent years: sales of its still wines alone have grown £10m to £56.8m over the past year, while its sparkling wines added £8.6m, growing 27% to £40.7m [Nielsen 52 w/e 7 September 2019].

The likes of Kopparberg, Echo Falls and Chapel Down have all launched spirits spin-offs in past years [Kantar 52 w/e 14 July 2019].

Read more: Viva La Revolucion! Alcoholic drinks category report 2019