Page 27 - Food & Drink Business Jan-Feb 2020
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Of concern is that with a lack of any category guidelines, new products and innovations lack consistency and regulation.
The results is that quality is not always being high on the agenda of some makers. There are always some producers just looking to make a quick profit off the surge in popularity.
This ultimately damages the category and detracts from the products the category leaders are producing. Of course, it could be argued that in every category, from apple sauce to zip-lock bags, there needs to be a counterbalance of low-quality options for high-quality products to stand out.
With the category in its infancy, it would be ideal for a set of production regulations, focused on quality, to guide the innovation coming through.
Unity and communication between current market leaders is also key to set a high standard for those coming into the market. It sets a standard to aspire to and ensures growth is a positive result for all.
Like the dot com boom, only the strongest will be left standing so it is key to get it right from the beginning.
We are working to set up an industry association (see breakout box) and new name for non-alcoholic spirits, sapiir, to encourage those standards.
A true sapiir cannot be carbonated or generated from
Walking up to a bar and ordering a sapiir and tonic, takes away the confusion around ordering an alcohol- free drink, all the consumer is left to decide is the brand.
The next five years are a critical period for the category,
Brunswick Aces has launched the International Sapiir Association (ISA). Its mission is to provide guidelines to the non-alcoholic spirit category in Australia and overseas.
Brands adhering to guidelines will ensure consumers, and both on- and off-trade that they are buying and stocking a premium product.
Building trust in the category as it grows is crucial to its sustained success.
The new term, sapiir, has been created to help elevate the category. The ISA aims to bring many non-alcoholic spirits under the new category name, as well as provide advice on sapiir production guidelines to distillers looking to develop their own products.
Its goal is to educate hospitality industry leaders on the quality of sapiir products and the benefits of providing a broader range of adult appropriate, alcohol-free alternatives, which are currently lacking across many bars, pubs and restaurants.
“ The non-alcoholic market, covering beers, wines and spirits, is projected to be worth $35 billion globally by 2025. Currently there are more than 60 brands of non-alcoholic spirits.”
reconstituted distillates. It also must be deemed alcohol-free according to general alcohol- free legislation that anything less than 0.5 per cent alcohol by volume is deemed alcohol-free.
The challenge now is to remove negative connotations associated with the phrase non-alcoholic. As soon as terminology like zero alcohol and alcohol-free is used, we lose potential consumers.
In giving the non-alcohol category a name that brands can live under, the aim is to turn that experience into a positive from the get-go.
unless there is some cohesion and quality regulation agreement between existing and emerging brands, then it is left open for erosion by inferior quality products and will result in a slower uptake from the on-trade sceptics. ✷
Stephen Lawrence is co-founder and CEO of Brunswick Aces, Australia’s first sapiir producer and premium botanical distillers.
There are already more than 60 brands of non-alcoholic spirits around the world. | January-February 2020 | Food&Drink business | 27

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