Advertisements promoting celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s gin, made in partnership with Fife distillery Eden Mill, have been banned over false nutritional claims.
Titled Ramsay’s Gin, the product line was created with a focus on sustainability, and locally sourced ingredients. The gin’s bottle uses 18% less glass than an industry standard bottle and can also be recycled.
Ramsay personally selected the local botanicals featured in Recipe No. 1. At the time of the launch, Ramsay wrote on Eden Mill’s website, “It’s exciting to work with a team that shares my passion for experimenting with unique ingredients, and we’re very fortunate that the distillery is a stone’s throw from where these exceptional botanicals can be found.”
The distillery said, “The botanical base of the gin is infused with Honeyberries picked from surrounding fields. Mara Seaweed is harvested sustainably from the tempestuous, wind-battered coasts of Fife.”
Social media advertisements published in March of 2022 highlighted these honeyberries reading, “Here, the farmer follows a philosophy of natural growth meaning the Honeyberries retain the rich flavours and micro-nutrients that come from Scotland’s wonderful terroir.
“With more antioxidants than blueberries, more potassium than bananas, more vitamin C than oranges and a flavour like a mixture of blueberry, plum and grape, these might be the tastiest Honeyberries in the world.”
The posts were made on the Ramsay’s Gin Instagram and Facebook. Both pages are operated by Eden Mill.
However, the only phrases pertaining to nutritional content in alcoholic beverages the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) allows are “low alcohol”, “reduced alcohol”, and “reduced energy”. This puts the Ramsay’s Gin claims about honeyberries in direct violation of existing regulations.
The ASA stated, “While we welcomed the action Ramsay’s Gin had taken to withdraw the ads because the claims ‘retain … micro-nutrients’ and ‘more antioxidants than blueberries, more potassium than bananas, more vitamin C than oranges’ were nutrition claims that were not permitted for alcoholic drinks, we concluded the ads breached the code.”
They continued, “We told Eden Mill Distillery trading as Ramsay’s Gin not to make non-permitted nutrition claims about alcoholic drinks.”
Eden Mill has removed the ads in question, noting that they only had been posted once, and would not be posted again.
They stated that they had not previously distilled honeyberries and that in their excitement to work with Ramsay, the company had “neglected to conduct its usual due diligence”.
Eden Mill said, “We have apologised to the ASA and take full responsibility. The content was posted on our Instagram and Facebook and was immediately removed on raising by the ASA.”
The company owners, marketing team, and head distiller have all been briefed on the complaint.
Ramsay’s Gin is not the chef’s first collaboration with Eden Mill, as he had previously worked with them on a gin range titled “Six Rivers”, which was released in October of 2021.
Ramsay told The Herald, “The team at Eden Mill have an innovative approach to the art of distilling. It has been a joy to work with them and I really respect their passion for their craft.
“We set out to create a narrative from the area around the distillery, to forage ingredients and develop flavours that told a story and I absolutely believe we have done that.”
Eden Mill is currently in the process of building a new distillery and visitor center at the University’s Eden Campus.
The company hopes that it will become a tourist hot spot and provide employment opportunities locally. Eden Mill also plans to continue their focus on sustainability by making their new facility one of the world’s first carbon-neutral distilleries.
It is scheduled to open in the first half of 2023.
Image: Wikimedia Commons