Blog: Brexit win for Britain as French firm strikes £5m deal with UK-based drinks giant – Express

Maison Villevert struck an agreement with British distributor Paragon Brands to sell more whisky, gin and rum in the UK. The French firm will pour £5 million into the business and take a majority stake in a move announced four months after the Brexit transition period ended. Paragon said the cash boost would allow it to triple revenue and gross profit within the next five years.

The Manchester-based company said Brexit has not put off British drinkers from buying European booze.

It said Britons have 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”.

Data from Paragon showed British shoppers continue to favour EU wines despite leaving the club of nations.

Last year they said sales of wines over £10 were up 15 percent.

The deal comes as alcohol consumption at home has been put in the spotlight recently due to the pandemic.

Figures suggested the sale of wine, beer and spirits in the UK were up 30 percent in January compared to the previous year.

The statistics from Kantar were recorded as Britons grappled with rising Covid numbers after Christmas and faced more lockdown restrictions.

READ MORE: How to stop feeling sick after drinking: 4 proven hangover cures

A report published earlier this year revealed an overall drop in alcohol sales during the first lockdown last year.

With pubs and restaurants closed, Britons had not choice but to drink at home.

The study was carried out by the University of Sheffield and commissioned by Public Health England.

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It showed alcohol consumption fell overall between March and June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

The findings show alcohol consumption at home – known as the off-trade – did not completely offset the fall in drinking in pubs and restaurants, known as the on-trade.

Dr Abigail Stevely, the lead author of the report, said the research showed people were not opting to drink during the day but were waiting until the evening.

She said: “Our new research finds that alcohol consumption fell overall, in both Scotland and England, as increased drinking in the off-trade did not fully compensate for the reduction in on-trade drinking.

“Despite some concerns that people might drink more in the day-time, we actually found that there was a shift towards people starting drinking later in the evening.

“This perhaps reflects changes in people’s routines and the absence of opportunities for daytime socialising such as going to the pub with colleagues after work.

“Although we find people drank less overall, there is evidence from other studies that heavier drinkers may have increased their consumption during lockdown.

“It will be therefore important to continue monitoring drinking during the pandemic to prevent additional health problems in future.”

Since April 12 people in England have been allowed to drink at bars and restaurants provided they are seated outdoors.

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