A French distillery has struck a deal to sell more gin, whisky and rum in the UK as Britons shrugged off Brexit to stock up on foreign booze.
Maison Villevert, which makes products including G’Vine Floraison, June Gin and La Quintinye Vermouth Royale, has teamed up with British distributor Paragon Brands as part of plans to sell more widely into the UK, putting £5m into the business and taking a majority stake.
Manchester-based Paragon, which also sells Moritz and Castello beers, said the deal with the French distillery would allow it to triple revenue and gross profit within the next five years.
Maison Villevert is to ramp up sales of its spirits and other brands in the UK, as Paragon said Britons had not been put off buying alcohol from the European Union in the wake of the Brexit vote.
It said British consumers are in fact less parochial than those in other countries, with a “much higher engagement with non-domestic food and drink products than their EU counterparts, who tend to have their tastes driven by their own countries products and culture”.
Figures from Paragon suggest that take-home sales of premium EU wines, which cost more than £10, were up 15pc on last year.
It comes amid a wider uptick in alcohol sales during the pandemic. In January, UK sales of beer, wine and spirits were up 30pc on the prior year, according to Kantar, as consumers drank at home instead of heading to the pub.
There was a huge spike in sales when hospitality started reopening last month, even though less than 40pc of venues with outdoor space decided to restart trading.
Across the UK, alcohol sales more than doubled from 2019 levels on the first day of pubs and restaurants reopening their doors.