Alcohol-free drinks companies in Edinburgh call for hospitality sector to 'widen their stock lists'
Drinks companies based in Edinburgh have said now is the perfect time for the hospitality industry to explore more exciting alcohol-free options to future proof against changes in the coming months.
Last week, Nicola Sturgeon announced that all licensed venues must close for two weeks in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus, leaving many in the hospitality industry unsure of their futures.
Companies which specialise in non-alcoholic drinks have taken this opportunity to encourage venues, who are in the position to, to rethink their stock while the immediate future of the sale of alcohol is uncertain.
Hugo Morrissey, founder of Nuisance Drinks, said: “Nuisance is a very new business, I launched in July and so this has obviously been difficult but I’m going to use this time to our advantage.
"This week hit and I suddenly thought, this is a crucial time for me, I should try and get out now because it’s the best possible time for me.
“I’m reaching out to lots of Edinburgh restaurants and hotels and hoping that they might think ‘oh that’s quite interesting, a bit more exciting than your Coke or Irn Bru’ and they’ll give it a go.”
Nuisance drinks is a nettle presse with botanical flavours. Mr Morrissey described it as a ‘light and refreshing soft drink’, and added: "The big chain restaurants can’t really support us because they are run centrally but the more independent places are really good at supporting local.”
Jenny Inch, from Bon Accord Soft Drinks said: “we’ve seen an increase in our sales to cafes over the last week but that’s been off-set by the reduction of our orders from bars that normally stock our products.
"Something we’ve noticed is that our online sales are starting to really tick up again because obviously people are at home and are looking for options but you know we're a great offering for lunch time, and that’s going to be an occasion for the next wee while, in Scotland anyway.”
Sonja Mitchell, the founder of Jump Ship Brewing, an Edinburgh based non-alcoholic beer company said: “Having a range of stock is so important so that cafes and restaurants can adapt, it’s future proofing against what changes may come in the next few months.
"In order to help out I’ve removed any minimum order quantity and I’m doing free delivery to help people serve the best range of choices, at the end of the day we want to encourage people to still go out and enjoy a meal where they can.”
Ms Mitchell added: "A few people back in March and April hit the alcohol quite hard and then it got to around May and we realised this wasn’t going to go away. Some people decided to reset and find a balance, a slightly healthier way of dealing with it.
“It’s a difficult time for everyone, but for those who are able to look at what they’re offering and make some changes, I think it’s a good time to give it a go.”