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Non-Alcohol Spirits Co. to Release Whiskey

According to Nielsen data, the non-alcoholic and low-ABV drink market size has grown 506% since 2015. Further data projects the sector will reach $280 million in revenue this year and an estimated $1.6 trillion by 2025.

Drink Monday Inc., a non-alcoholic spirits company headquartered in Carlsbad, wants a piece of the alcohol avoider, sober curious pie.

Launched in 2019 and with five co-founders, Monday debuted with a booze-free gin and sold north of $1.3 million in nine months, according to co-founder Chris Boyd. By April, the company hopes to release its second offering, an American whiskey, he said.

If all goes as planned, especially with its current equity crowd funding round through which it hopes to raise $300,000 in three months, Monday is estimated to reach close to $5 million in revenue by the end of 2021.

Scratch that Itch

“All of this comes from a place of people being healthier, paying more attention to what they are putting in their bodies and where it comes from,” he said. “On the flavor side, these things must also taste good. You can drink a seltzer water or a sugary soda, but that has one flavor profile. This here has complex layers, with notes at the beginning, the middle and the end. When you want to dry out a little but still have that craving for whatever it is you drink – this scratches that itch.”

Wanting to make sure its inaugural product held up against its alcoholic counterpart, Monday teamed with Rob Rubens of R6 Distillery headquartered in El Segundo; Rubens is one of the co-founders and master distiller of the new company. As a result, he created a gin that is more complex than a soda or sparkling water, said Boyd, with a spicy finish that creates heat down the back of the throat, similar to an alcohol burn. The Monday Gin also has some bitterness, he said, which inspires a sipping reaction instead of a chugging, closely emulating the alcohol experience.

Rubens, whose R6 Distillery is best known for creating an alcoholic bourbon, said he was immediately intrigued by the non-alcohol business model behind Monday.

“I loved (and still do) the concept and the challenge presented, to help create something in the non-alc realm that emulates what I am most passionate about: distilled spirits,” he said. “The people at Monday are a huge part of why I do what I’m doing: they are passionate, energetic and intelligent folks that emulate a culture ultimately embodied by Monday products.”

Upcoming American Whiskey

All of the formulations are created at R6, said Boyd, including the upcoming American whiskey. Six to seven more people in America are interested in whiskey as opposed to gin, he said, so he is hoping the strategic addition, which has been in the works for a couple of months now, will expand the company’s reach in the non-alc category.

Currently, Monday is sold direct-to-consumer online via its own site as well as partners like Amazon, said Boyd. Its target market was originally thought to be millennials and Gen Z, as these are the generations that reportedly drink less than their predecessors, but consumers of all ages, sex and demographic are purchasing Monday, he said.

In 2020, a record 12 new non-alcoholic spirits brands launched in the U.S., according to Forbes Magazine, while 11 new brands launched in the U.K. market. That makes a total of 29 and 42 brands in each market, respectively, including alcohol-free tequila, rums, whiskey, beer and canned cocktail options.

Monday is one of them, said Boyd, adding that Monday Gin is not only alcohol-free, it is also calorie, sugar, vegan and gluten free.

“This is about as clean an alternative to alcohol as you can get,” he said.

Bars, Restaurants and Hotels

Currently, Monday does a small amount of wholesale, said Boyd, mostly to mom and pop shops, some liquor stores and fine grocery stores. The company didn’t initially intend to go the distribution route, he said, but there was such an outpouring of support that Monday decided to create a small wholesale program to collaborate with those small business owners.

In the future, whenever bars and restaurants open back up, Boyd hopes to bring Monday products to bars and restaurants as well as international hotel brands. The company also plans to draw angel investors down the line, he said.

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