Pastis: The Star Anise

The consensus is no. Latiseva believes the product types (and their target consumers) are distinct enough to offer complementary opportunities for anis-based spirits in general, while Robert says: “Abroad, absinthe is initiating a lot of younger consumers to anise-based liquors. Some of these abroad consumers will turn to pastis when they turn 40.

“In France, where pastis is strong, absinthe is just 0.1% of the anis market (sales in supermarkets and hypermarkets are 80,000 bottles, compared to 70m for pastis), so obviously there’s no risk of cannibalisation.

“There is no threat from absinthe at all – totally the opposite for me,” adds Sabbagh. “Absinthe and the rebirth of absinthe is one of the great opportunities for pastis, because this is putting anise back in the mouth of the consumer.”

Indeed, Sabbagh cites the absinthe renaissance as one of the key reasons for his optimism that pastis exports will continue to rise in the coming years. “This is where absinthe has a role to play,” he says.

“Absinthe was the first drink that was exported to so many countries. It opened the way 150 years ago. Now, with the rebirth, it’s opening the way for the anise category and for pastis once again.”