Trade body The Gin Guild has threatened legal action against the producers of Red Storm and Ocean Storm for “wrongly labelling” the spirits as ‘gin’, despite the products only being 29% ABV.
EU regulations state gin must be bottled at a minimum alcoholic strength of 37.5% ABV.
The Gin Guild has issued a pre-legal action notice to the producers of the Red Storm and Ocean Storm products, The Pentone Family, as it endeavours to crack down on “drinks producers who ‘cynically’ and ‘falsely’ label non-compliant products as ‘gin’”.
The trade group said its position has been confirmed by The Gin Guild’s Primary Authority Partnership, in place with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, and both bodies confirmed a number of breaches had been made by labelling the products ‘gin’.
Nicholas Cook, director general of The Gin Guild, said: “The producers of these products, fraudulently described as ‘gin’, have attempted a blatant, cynical and foolhardy attempt to market a product by linking to the reputation of the gin category, despite clearly being non-compliant products.
“These Ocean products are, regrettably, yet another example of products that are not gin, which are not category compliant and which are being mis-marketed and sold to unsuspecting consumers.
“Our aim is to stop this form of abuse, which of late, due to the success and interest in the gin category, is growing. This is a matter of consumer as well as industry protection.”
The Gin Guild said it has requested that sales of the Ocean Storm and Red Storm products described as ‘gin’ will “cease with immediate effect”.
It has also requested that any existing stock branded as ‘gin’ must not be sold, and will either be destroyed or rebottled and clearly marked with a correct description.
It has also demanded that the brand website for these products be taken down from the internet “until all references of these products have been removed”.
Upon searching for these products, The Spirits Business found that the page linking to the Ocean Storm and Red Storm products has been taken down from The Pentone Family website.
Cook added: “The Gin Guild, working with the gin industry for the gin industry, will continue to secure enforcement against those seeking to abuse the name and standing of the gin category and to provide consumer advice and protection.”
The Spirits Business has contacted The Pentone Family for comment and will update the article when a response has been received.
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Author: Melita Kiely