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Burgeoning ‘Nolo’ market lures adventurous soda startup

(Source: Supplied)

Queensland soft seltzer brand So Soda has created a flavoursome alcohol-free alternative to alcoholic drinks.

Co-founders Dan Hastings and Amelia Carew founded the brand following a previous venture in craft beer over 10 years. They describe an undeniable movement in the no- or low- (Nolo) alcoholic drinks market, drawing parallels with the craft beer category when it was in its nascent stage.

“We did the research extensively and spoke to a wide range of people we know in beverage, liquor and grocery retailing, and the findings were undeniable. The movement to drink less booze is clear,” said Hastings. 

Research from ISWR Drink Market found there is a rise of ‘sober-curious drinkers’ – people who are looking to moderate their alcohol intake and still enjoy a drink at the same time.

“Not everyone is seeking sobriety, but the migration to moderate their intake is hampered by the limited Nolo products available,” he said.

Founders Dan Hastings and Amelia Carew

The drinks are all-natural, preservative-free, with 50 per cent less sugar and can be consumed straight, mixed or garnished. They are available in two flavours: Watermelon Mint Spritz and Yuzu Lime Chilli. A third flavour will be released soon.

A four-pack retails for $17.99 and a 24 pack retails for $89.99. They can be purchased online on the brand’s website and will soon be available from major retailers and wholesalers.

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