UK-based non-alcoholic spirits manufacturer Mindful Brands is eyeing expansion in North America with its new Tequila alternative brand, Soldadera.

The company launched the brand with two expressions in September in the UK.

The non-alcoholic products are made with agave and sold in two versions: Blanco, which is a Tequila Silver imitation and a coffee variety.

The products are available in 500ml bottles for £18.99 ($22.97) in the UK on Amazon, through low-and-no e-commerce retailer Dry Drinker and on Mindful Brands’ website.

Mindful Brands plans to take Soldadera to the US, which co-founder and CEO Craig Hutchison described as “the biggest opportunity” for the product, especially in the on-premise.

The company, which already sells Celtic Soul and Marie Laveau in North America, is planning to launch Soldadera in the US in the third quarter of 2024.

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By GlobalData

Hutchison said Mindful Brands has yet to secure distribution for the Tequila alternative in the US but is in talks with an unnamed Canadian company, which is “very keen” to take on Soldadera to sell in that market.

In the UK, the on-premise strategy for Soldadera will see the product launched in two or three major cities.

“I didn’t see as many products or good products in the non-alcoholic Tequila space specifically here in the UK,” Hutchison said. “So, I thought there was a little bit of a gap in the market.”

Mindful Brands was founded by Hutchison after Ceder’s non-alcoholic spirit brand was bought by Pernod Ricard in December 2020.

At present, Mindful Brands does not have any listings with major retailers in the UK. Hutchison said the off-premise market is tougher for smaller non-alcoholic companies than when the Richmond-headquartered business started.

There have been fewer brands entering the non-alcoholic market in the UK off-premise in the last 18 months than five years ago because major players including Diageo and Pernod Ricard are launching non-alcoholic drinks, Hutchison argued. “It’s much more difficult to grow your volumes,” he said.

”There’s no more major listings to be had from the big retailers just because they’ve allocated one shelf and the other facings have been taken up by those bigger brands.

“Four or five years ago […] you were able to get these listings. Now we’ve got to wait on either them [the retailers] allocating other shelves [to the category] or have them delisting one of their current brands or products.”

Nevertheless, Hutchison argued “premium drinks” such as non-alcoholic spirits are not as affected as other segments by the current pressure on consumer spending. Hutchison said demand from customers “continues to grow and grow as more and more people moderate” their drinking of alcohol.