ArKay hits back at criticism over alcohol-free ‘whisky’By Melita Kiely
US-based ArKay has responded to criticism regarding its alcohol-free ‘whisky’, arguing it clearly labels and markets its products as “whisky-flavoured” drinks.
Trade body the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said last Friday (11 January) that it would be investigating alcohol-free beverage ArKay over the brand’s claims of being an “alcohol-free whisky”.
The SWA argued that this is “illegal”, as whisky must be at least 40% abv according to EU law.
However, ArKay has counteracted these claims and said its products are labelled as “alcohol-free whisky flavoured drink”, with “whisky flavoured” being the key point of difference.
A spokesperson for ArKay said: “The SWA is wrong because evidently they did not read our labels that show ‘Arkay alcohol-free whisky flavoured drink’. As you can see the words ‘flavoured drink’ changes totally the meaning of the sentence.
“Our slogan says clearly ‘it’s not whisky’, contrary to the SWA claim. We clearly say in our advertising ‘it’s not whisky’, so where is the problem?
“In few words, the SWA is trying to hurt ArKay by publishing fake news in order to discriminate our company, and if they try to sue ArKay we will counter-sue them, asking the court [for] millions of dollars of damages.”
ArKay was founded in 2007 by Reynald Grattagliano and started commercial production in 2011.
In 2018, company revenue reached US$300 million. It plans to become a billion-dollar company by 2021.
ArKay also explained it plans to launch an initial public offering on the US stock market by June 2019.