Seedlip has announced plans to launch a portfolio of new brands with the hire of former Belvedere Vodka head of spirit creation, Claire Smith-Warner.

Smith-Warner will work closely with Seedlip founder, Ben Branson, on the development and launch of a number of new brands with the aim of injecting further growth into the non-alcoholic spirits sector.

Seedlip, which was launched at the end of 2015, helped create a global non-alcoholic spirits category. The company now has 40 employees worldwide, with offices in London and LA, and it is stocked in more than 3000 accounts globally.

Smith-Warner, who has held a number of roles including director of spirits education within the wine and spirits division at LVMH Moet Hennessy, said: “I have always been passionate about the world of spirits, hospitality and the dynamic community working within it so I am incredibly excited about this next chapter of my career and the opportunity within the NA category.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Ben and his team to offer both the trade and consumers more innovative products and brands to further drive and develop the category Seedlip created.”

Branson said: “At Seedlip we are committed to leading this nascent category and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in this space. Having the support of the most prominent bartenders, chefs and industry influencers has been fantastic and to have one such as Claire joining is testament to what we have achieved at Seedlip to date. I am very much looking forward to working with Claire to expand our portfolio with exciting new propositions relevant to tomorrow’s drinker.”

Earlier this year Seedlip extended its portfolio with the launch of the 20cl bottle size for its two variants: Spice 94 and Garden 108.