Lyre’s takes its non-alcoholic spirits global
Lyre’s the new non-alcoholic spirit brand, which launched in Australia just a few weeks ago is going global after securing distribution and manufacturing deals.
Co-Founder Mark Livings told TheShout that as well as securing distribution in a number of key global markets, the brand has also received international order in excess of $1m.
“We are going global,” Livings said. “In New Zealand we will distributing with Hancocks and that will start in August.
“In the UK we are being distributed by Proof Wine and Spirits and that will also begin August.
“Then in the United States we will be distributing with what is the largest wine and spirits distributor in the world, which is Southern Glazers. They will put us into their artisanal division, which is their highly focused, top 200 accounts by East Coast, West Coast and that will start in September.”
Livings also said he is hoping to have announcements about Asia and Continental Europe in the next couple of months.
In terms of the manufacturing side of the brand, Livings said: “We are manufacturing in Australia presently, but we are spinning out manufacturing to the United States, in Belgium to service the UK and Europe. We will also be manufacturing in China to service China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan.”
He added: “Finding manufacturers who can support our minimum order quantities has been a challenge. If you’re talking 2000 cases of a non-alcoholic absinthe that’s been in the market for three weeks, it’s a bit of punt to run that.
“But I think we’ll probably service the smaller stuff out of Australia where we have got the flexibility to make the smaller range of products and move our big movers into the markets closer to the points of distribution.”
Livings has been travelling the world looking to engage people with the products and said that the job really is to get as many people sampling Lyre’s as possible.
“Overall the feedback we are getting is great, and the prevailing wisdom in any consumer product category is when you’ve got an amazing tasting product you get it in as many faces as possible.”
In terms of which of the 13 SKUs are proving popular, Livings told TheShout: “The vermouths are universally adored by the trade, they are telling us ‘I can’t tell the difference’ and they are also loving our Italian Orange. The gin however, is the big mover as you would expect.
“The range is going to match to consumption of their alcoholic originals, so the gin is moving quite quickly. I suspect from the handful of meetings that we’ve had that once we get into the US market bourbon will be the mover. Particularly as the Old Fashioned is the number selling cocktail in the world at the moment.”
Livings also said that Lyre’s are looking at continually updating and improving the drinks as new technologies and flavours become available.
“We have slightly modified our gin and our bourbon recently and we will swap that into the range in the near future,” he said.
“So as the beverage technology improves and as ingredient profiles get closer we will keep having this range evolving. It’s a real point of difference now as we’re a new category and so there are new roles. So it’s OK to have a brand that changes its recipe because for a brand that’s based on being as close as possible to the authentic real deal, if we can continually move closer and closer, that going to continue to deepen the brand’s equity.
“That’s not to say the existing ones aren’t good, because they are great, it’s just that these are even better. For instance with the bourbon a new extract of oak came on that was closer in terms of mouthfeel, bouquet and taste to a legitimate American oak. So we swapped them out and it’s taken it that one per cent closer and for us that was enough to take it closer. This is a living brand that will evolve, and I love that about it.”