Demand for alcohol-flavoured sweets soars during lockdown

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Joint MD John Winnard pours himself a glass of wildberry gin sweets. Pic: Uncle Joe's
Joint MD John Winnard pours himself a glass of wildberry gin sweets. Pic: Uncle Joe's

Related tags coronavirus Alcohol

Sales of alcohol-flavoured sweets rose by 20% in the UK while the country’s pubs were shut due to Covid-19, manufacturer Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls has revealed.

The premium sweet brand, established in 1898, said demand for its apple cider, dark rum, rhubarb and ginger gin, and wildberry gin flavours has been maintained despite pubs and bars been allowed to open earlier this month.  

Wigan-based Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls is further investing in its alcohol-flavoured range - and have appealed for people to suggest other pub favourites which they can turn into sweets.

The ownership has been passed down through the family generations and joint managing directors John and Antony Winnard are the great, great nephews of the company’s founder.

John Winnard said: “We know that while the pubs were shut many people just bought alcohol to drink at home but there are also a lot of people who don’t like drinking in the house or in front of their children​.

Our alcohol-flavoured sweets enable them to enjoy the taste of something alcoholic but, because they are alcohol free, they don’t have to feel guilty​.

Now the pubs have reopened many people are still nervous about going because of Covid-19 and others have just simply got out of the habit and are treating themselves to a tin of gin sweets instead of paying for a real gin and tonic​.”  

Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls are still manufactured using the same traditional methods and ‘secret recipe’ and contain no artificial additives or colours, are GM free, gluten free and are suitable for the vegetarian/vegan market.

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