Food Innovation Centre


Incorporated in 2021, Diistil Limited (DIISTIL | Innovative spirits | United Kingdom) is an innovative spirits technology company. Positioned as the ‘Next-Gen Spirits Company’, Diistil has a clear vision to disrupt the current spirits market by looking to revolutionise the way alcoholic and non-alcoholic spirits are produced and consumed. They are harnessing the power of technology and modular production to allow customers to create bespoke spirits in as little as one bottle. In addition, they are working with exciting collaborators to bring original, innovative spirits to market.

With an exceptional business plan and a clear focus on their product vision, Diistil required support with the horizon scanning of current flavour, sensory and consumer acceptability research within the spirits space. As well as a trends analysis into current and future insights across both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic premium drinks markets, the collaboration further extended to provide product tasting evaluations, accredited technical guidance and product Beta testing support.

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We are highly grateful to Richard Worrall, Annie Blissett and the entire Food Innovation Team for their technical and scientific support in the early part of our journey.  It has been a privilege to work with them and we are honoured to receive the support of the University of Nottingham, a global academic leader in flavour science and food innovation.  Above the project deliverables, it was great being able to just pick up the phone to test ideas and ask for advice, which as a start-up is often equally as important.  We look forward to continuing to work with the Food Innovation Team and the University of Nottingham more broadly, in the future.

Project brief

  • Provide a comprehensive literature review to disseminate the current knowledge from flavour analysis, sensory profiling and consumer acceptance studies within the spirits category.    
  • Conduct a trends analysis focusing on both the current and future predicted trend insights across both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic premium drinks markets.
  • Continue to support Diistil as required during their concept to launch journey including, product tasting evaluations, accredited technical guidance and product Beta testing support.

The response

  • A comprehensive literature review was collated and summarised to enhance Diistil’s already formidable spirits knowledge. Including, elements relating to the instrumental identification of key flavour compounds, volatile characterisation through sensory analysis and the complex inter-plays with regards to consumer acceptability.
  • An overview of the current and predicted future trends within the premium drinks sector was delivered to Diistil. Encompassing the impact of Covid-19 on the premium drinks market, onto the complex horizon of 2022 and onwards. Raising key themes such as the economic squeeze, the upsurge of the no/low alcohol trend and the future consumer desires towards sustainability and community.    
  • Focusing on the company’s first spirit distillation, gin, The Food Innovation Team had the privilege to taste a selection of Diistil’s distillates and samples of their bespoke gin formulations. Feedback was provided with the relevant tasting notes along with comments from both a technical and consumer perspective. Accredited technical services were researched and submitted to Diistil to aid the completion of their initial and indeed, on-going research and product development. In addition to attending the first product Beta testing session, providing continued support and dialogue.

Benefit to the business

This project has supported Diistil on their concept to launch journey. Focusing on enriching the company’s already formidable distilling knowledge to the wider breadth of research within the spirits sector to connect their true passion for delivering enhanced flavoured spirits. Alongside, the complex, longer-term trends horizon within the premium drinks sector to support the business’ future growth plans. Furthermore, the project provided Diistil with direct feedback from both individual component and final product sampling from a technical and consumer perspective, contributing to the company’s tasting vocabulary. Finally, the project has provided Diistil with on-site support and feedback during the company’s initial Beta testing session. Diistil held a highly successful event, generating informative consumer feedback and high volumes of supportive social media traffic.    

To date the company has evolved at pace and launched commercially in August 2022. 


For details about who to contact for queries regarding the Food Innovation Centre, please visit our contact us page.