A real mixed bag this week as it feels like I’ve been juggling 100 weight of loose soot whilst riding a one wheeled bicycle (one of my father’s favourite sayings btw.).
Strategically, thanks to an ex-work colleague I've been analysing an unpublished research paper from the Drinkaware organisation. The research covers the whole issue of consumption and perceptions of non and low alcoholic drinks in the UK.
Some of the conclusions from the report include.
- One in four UK adults consumed alcohol free or low alcohol drinks in the last 12 months.
- Evidence shows that use of low/non-alcoholic drinks as a moderation technique’ is increasing.
- In 2021 22% had been using non-alcoholic drinks to moderate their drinking, up from 14% in 2017.
- Those who had consumed non-alcoholic drinks in the last 12 months are much more likely to do so again in the next year.
- Much of the perception that non-alcoholic drinks lack taste, comes directly from people who have not tried them - there remains a degree of ignorance around how quality has improved.
- Interestingly, and despite perceptions to the contrary, the research indicates, that young people are increasingly consuming non-alcoholic drinks
For me, point 2 is particularly pertinent as this is one of the reasons I particularly drink non-alcoholic drinks. I am not teetotal, but I do want to limit the amount of alcohol I consume for my own wellbeing.
On a more mundane level, one of the many struggles since starting the business has been trying to source appropriate packaging to use to send out online orders. Finding commercially available packaging to fit standard bottles and cans, seems particularly difficult unless you order a bespoke solution – at great cost.
We therefore make no apologies, at least at the start of our business journey, for reusing packaging rather than buying it new. From our experiences of running the cafes, we are big advocates of the ‘reuse’ approach to disposable items rather than recycling (which often, isn’t). For many years for example, we have been supporters of the reusable deposit cup scheme ‘Shrewsbury Cup’ at our cafes in town. For this reason, we will be reusing packaging as much as we possibly can. So, apologies in advance if you order from our website and receive your products in a mismatched cardboard box without our branding.
STRAIGHT AND NARROW
I had a meeting this week with Jason Stoneham. Jason runs a local business called Straight and Narrow who specialise in producing premixed non-alcoholic spirit-based drinks (gin & tonic etc.). We hope to be collaborating with Jason soon.
I've saved the best to last, and, for the moment this is more ‘gossip’ than confirmed but it does look as if we have secured a town centre site for a dry. shop. Negotiations are continuing and we hope to be able to confirm the location within the next few weeks. As you can imagine, Nicola and I are hugely excited, whilst also being somewhat nervous - given the big financial commitment this move represents. One thing the shop will do is enable us to physically showcase the fantastic range of beers which we have been able to assemble in only a couple of months. More to follow (beer range and shop location).
BBC RADIO SHROPSHIRE
And finally, look out for me on the Clare Ashford afternoon show on BBC Radio Shropshire on Tuesday afternoon (16/8) when I'll be speaking to Clare about the new venture, the alcohol-free sector in general, and hopefully trying to persuade her to try some of our products.