Non-alcoholic beverage marketplace launches

Two Sydney businessmen have launched a non-alcoholic marketplace, Craftzero, as the brewing industry hones in on health and wellness trends.

In recent months a number of breweries including Modus Operandi with the launch of Nort and Stone & Wood’s low alcohol option East Point have got on board with the trend, and even the mainstream brewery CUB launched a no-alcohol version of their Great Northern brand.

The new e-commerce site, dubbed the “mindful drinking marketplace” in a media statement from the company, was launched by Marc Naggar and Sherif Goubran, founders of Sydney wine wholesaler Wine & Co.

It sources non-alcoholic options from craft breweries, distilleries and wineries, as well as organic, low carb and calorie, gluten-free, sugar and sweetener free and vegan-friendly products.

Craftzero’s founders say that for health, work and religious reasons people are drinking less and looking for no alcohol options.

“The non-alcoholic space has been around for some time,” Goubran told Brews News when asked about the longevity of the trend, which has seen countries like Japan show heightened growth in zero alcohol categories before plateauing.

“Only in the past 18 months or so that the niche market has experienced dramatic growth due to the improved quality of products across all categories.”

He attributed the growth of the category to the growing number of craft producers.

“The rise of smaller breweries and distilleries in Australia and overseas in recent years has been the driving force behind this growth, thanks to their high quality of products being produced compared to 8 or 9 years ago.

“The UK is currently leading the trend in the non-alcoholic space and this is being filtered through here in Australia.

“It’s great to see Australian companies such as Lyres who recently raised $16 million to fund their growth.

“The big players are now investing heavily to produce AF alternatives to their mainstream products. This indicates that the potential for this niche market in Australia is being recognised and is on the rise.”

While the continued growth of the trend in the long-term remains to be seen, the non-alcoholic space has often been seen as ancillary to alcoholic products, rather than a category on its own – particularly when it comes to beer.

Brewers like Sobah have been the exception to this rule, but with non-alcoholic products able to be sold in supermarkets, it begs the question of whether a specialised marketplace will be able to hold its own against established companies offering both alcoholic and non-alcoholic products.

But Goubran has confidence in Craft Zero, and that their extensive range will offer something different to what is available in supermarkets and bottle shops.

“Yes, some supermarkets stock basic non-alcoholic products and some bottleshops have also increased their offering of non-alcoholic options.

“It’s great to see that more people are spreading the word and exposing consumers to the idea of non-alcoholic drinks.

“At Craftzero we specialise in non-alcoholic adult drinks. We currently offer the widest selection of non-alcoholic beverages in Australia on a single platform.

“We will continue to offer the biggest selection, competitive pricing and fast delivery to Australian consumers.

“Apart from supporting local producers, we have also increased our offering by bringing in new and exciting products from the UK and the US that are only available through Craftzero.”

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