PODCAST: Alcohol-free firm Lyre’s CEO on blazing a trail in a whole new beverage category

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: FNA Trailblazers, Podcast, non-alcoholic drinks

In this episode of our Food and Beverage Trailblazers podcast, we speak to Mark Livings, the CEO and co-founder of Australia-based non-alcoholic beverages start-up Lyre’s about his award-winning drinks, building a successful brand and unpacking a whole new beverage category in the APAC region.

Lyre’s just launched into market in 2018, but already it has made a significant mark in the beverage industry, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, by taking winning 10 awards at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, one of the most influential spirits competitions in the world.

“What’s interesting here is that all the medals we won were given to us in traditional alcoholic beverage categories, and not a new non-alcoholic spirits one, so what this shows is that our drinks are able to go toe to toe with traditional categories,”​ Livings told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“The non-alcoholic spirits category doesn’t exist for most awards worldwide, which goes to show how new it is and [we are proud to be] unpacking a whole new beverage category right here in the region.”

The firm’s spirits are very different from any in the non-alcoholic beverage market so far, mainly because of its unique proprietary technology.

“We thought we’d take a highly innovative beverage technology approach rather than a traditional one like distilling a spirit and dealcoholising it – instead we chose to break down a traditional alcohol spirit and attempt to rebuild it at the molecular level, just without alcohol,”​ Livings said.

“The drinks still give that bite that alcohol does, because we formulate with natural ingredients that agitate the taste buds and ‘trick’ the brain into believing that it is alcohol.”

Livings is also a branding expert, and described his experience creating a brand that carries a compelling story behind it.

“The lyrebird is a master of mimicry – it can mimic any birdcall it comes across. Since our brand is based on mimicry, or paying homages to traditional spirits, it felt right to have it as the front of the brand,”​ he said.

Listen to the podcast above to find out more.

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