Ed Gerard has left his role as head of wines, spirits, cigars and pharmacy at Harrods, to move into the Low and No-Alcohol sector.

Gerard, who joined Harrods in 2013 as buyer of BWS, moving on to head up the department in 2018, will now be the Director of Global Business Development for Mocktail Beverages.

Gerard said: “Leaving Harrods after nearly eight years and the wine trade after 19 years was a significant decision but the opportunity to help build a category leading global brand in the Lo & No category was the ultimate catalyst for change.

“I firmly believe that Lo & No is going to be the fastest growing FMCG category over the next decade which is a huge opportunity for brands operating in this sphere. Whilst Fine Wine and Spirits will always have a place in my heart, it is a market that is mature and entrenched in historic practices. No & Lo is still in its infancy and that is really exciting as I see Mocktail Beverages playing a pivotal role in defining the category.”

Mocktails Beverages is headed up by Founder and chief executive, Bill Gamelli, who last month announced a partnership with UK drinks distributor Craftwork, and the addition of Elliott Clark as UK Sales Director.

The Mocktails brand –  which comprises a range of four flavours – was created to fill the void in the market for alcohol-free drinks that could equalise social occasions for anyone not drinking and is targeted to both on and off-trade channels.

Gerard said: “In Bill, Mocktails has a founder with a pioneering spirit who is on a mission to help elevate the experience of the conscious consumer. His customer obsession aligns with mine and I am looking forward to helping the team achieve what is our collective mission. Things are certainly going to move quickly, and we already have four countries targeted for launch in the next quarter, with Spain coming on-board this month.”