Seedlip claims to be the first-ever distilled non-alcoholic spirit brand and is undoubtedly a pioneer of the non-alcoholic adult beverage sector, and differentiates itself from other industry players such as Lyre’s and AF Drinks by shying away from the emulation of traditional alcoholic spirits.
“The non-alcoholic adult beverages sector has now developed to a point where there are broadly two emerging categories – one is where brands work on emulating traditional spirits, and the other is looking to break more boundaries by establishing something completely different in terms of product innovation,” Chris Marshall, Owner of Seedlip’s official South East Asia operations partner Distilled told FoodNavigator-Asia at the recent Specialty and Fine Foods Asia (SFFA) show in Singapore.
“Seedlip is one of those trying to break boundaries, so the aim is not to try and emulate alcoholic drinks but instead to give consumers a different alternative beverage altogether, and providing them with a unique experience by utilising herbs, fruits, spices and so on.
“In the Asia Pacific region, there is a very major trend of new product discovery going on which is strongly driving consumer purchases, which products such as this jive very well with; and add on to that the post-COVID-19 demand for healthier adult beverage options that do not contain alcohol and are low in or free of sugar, and the stars are really aligning for this sector.”
Marshall also believes that the rise of this category is proof of just how much the beverage industry is changing, as just several years back non-alcoholic beverages would have been viewed very differently, let alone bloom into an entire new sector.
“When I just started out working back in the west, there was a lot of stigma associated with being that guy who doesn’t drink alcohol, so in general even people who didn’t want to drink at gatherings would acquiesce to have a beer or two to fit in socially – today, non-alcoholic products has definitely evolved to become a lot more acceptable,” he said.
“Seedlip products are made to be mixed and not so much to be drunk neat, so is always served with different mixers as a non-alcoholic cocktail, and it looks just like a regular cocktail which ensures that consumers abstaining from alcohol have that additional option at a cocktail bar.
“In fact, the product has come so far that we have an entire cocktail recipe book based on Seedlip products, allowing the bartender to offer a wide range of cocktails at the bar, or the consumer to make their own cocktails at home no matter what their tastebuds are looking for.”
Seedlip comes in three variants – Garden, which is made with peas, hops, hay and other ingredients that might be found in an English country garden; Grove, which is its citrus blend and offers a very gin and tonic experience; and Spice which has the heaviest botanicals of the range with the fragrances of cassia bark, cardamom, clove and more.
Other occasions for non-alcoholic beverages
Marshall also highlighted that the firm is on a mission to disassociate their products from the term ‘mocktail’, given that mocktails such as Shirley Temples are not the image that the brand wants to be convey.
“Many mocktails today are sweet and sickly, and Seedlip is anything but – certainly the traditional mocktails around today are not going to be the future of the beverage industry as health demands and awareness rises, but we see products such as Seedlip moving up for this,” he said.
“There are of course those consumers who need to stay off alcohol for crucial reasons such as pregnancy, medications or perhaps even an interview the next day – again, what we aim to do is ensure that they don’t end up being the odd one out socially, and can drink without drinking per se, such that they can still join gatherings at a cocktail bar with these non-alcoholic cocktails – not mocktails - without feeling left out.”