🍸 Why VCs Love Sober Startup Ideas

Sober drinkers are here to stay. Meet the startups capitalizing on the trend.

Hey Founders,

☕️ Welcome back to our Friday newsletter: the first friend you text when you have a startup idea that needs riffing on over drinks.

📰 Latest news: Musk and Zuck want to face off in a cage fight. The CEO of Reddit CEO is in hot water. Alibaba got a new Chairman. SoftBank’s CEO said they’re ready to "lead the AI revolution." A streamer locked down a $100m contract. We’re hitting up Collision Conference next week so slide into our DMs if you’re pulling up.

Enough chit-chat, let’s watch the main act 🍿

🍽 Today's Menu:

  • 🍸 The surge of non-alcoholic startups and investors

  • 📝 F&B Startup ideas some of you are building

  • 🤯 Timely reads for startup founders

  • 🐦 Tweets to jazz up your Friday

Last week, dogs won against cats for the poll. This week, we wanna hear where your fav spot to read the newsletter is. 📖

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Today’s issue is brought to you by ncScale

It’s summer. And all of you are chilling by the patio. So what better deep dive to hit than the disruption coming to the beverage world?

Toss your feet up, pour the iced Nespresso, and let’s dive in.

 🍹 The Trend: Sober Drinks Are on the Rise

Hate to ruin your upcoming July long weekend, but the data speaks for itself. Alcoholic drinks are slowing and the #soberlife is growing.

Our pals at Food Navigator found:

  • 💸 The value of the no-alcohol beverage European market is $11B

  • 🌎 Dealroom claims the North American market to be worth $25B

  • 📈 The expected growth by 2026 in the space is 7+%

And when there’s this kinda growth, VC piggy banks aren’t far behind.

In 2021, Dealroom claims:

  • 🍾 $649M was raised by startups in the category

  • 🦄 2 unicorns ($1B+ in value) Genki Forest and Celsius have emerged

  • More consumers (especially Gen Z) want healthier alternatives

  • They’ve tallied up 150+ startups enriching their beverages with vitamins, prebiotics, natural ingredients and low sugar content

👀 The Validation

Let’s talk about some deals happening behind your back:

  • Drink Monday recently raised $250K in crowdfunding

  • Lyre's Spirit Co. recently closed $45MM Series A with the focus of replacing all popular spirits with non-alcoholic beverages.

  • Surely raised a $2.5MM seed round and is producing sparking rosé with the alcohol removed from them before adding fruit juice and other natural ingredients.

  • Athletic Brewing Co teamed up with high-profile investors like NFL star JJ Watt, cyclist Lance Armstrong and Tom’s Shoes Blake Mycoskie to make a splash brand in the non-alcoholic beer industry. Their customers must be going crazy b/c they recently closed $236MM in funding.

  • Delola, founded by Jennifer Lopez is even making waves. JLo and her team have spun up a new line of low-sugar, low-ABV aperitifs perfectly timed for your summer tasting.

📝 The Napkin Ideas

Wanna know the crazier part? Y’all have been sending us startup ideas that are smack dab in the middle of this innovative F+B trend. Here’s some you should open on another Chrome tab:

More F&B Related Ideas:

Wanna see more? Tap below.

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🛠 The GTM Plan:

To spur you on, we’ll give you an inside look at a 90-day plan we’d use to build this Non-alcoholic Single Serve Cocktails startup idea that Kush Kapila posted.

Phase 1: Research and Development (Days 1-30)

  • 🔎 Market Analysis: Go to distilleries, pubs, and restaurants that dominate on this trend. Meet up w/ folks that know the space inside out. Start trying to whip up recipes that are healthier, lower calorie to get a feel for the process

  • 👩‍🍳 Product Development: Set up some mixologist meetings and pick your favourite. Team up to develop a few early non-alcoholic cocktail recipes that prioritize taste, healthiness, and low-calorie content.

  • 👋 Network check: post some updates on social and your email list to see who in your community may wanna chime in with ideas or side hustle help. You may have a celebrity contact that could help refine the vision or deliver on distribution channels.

Phase 2: Production and Distribution (Days 31-60)

  • 🤝 Production: establish a production partner with a contract manufacturer to produce your non-alcoholic single-serve cocktails. Ensure adherence to quality control measures to maintain consistency in taste and product integrity.

  • 📦 Distribution Strategy: Identify distribution channels that cater to your target audiences, such as specialty beverage retailers, online platforms, bars, and restaurants. Explore partnerships with existing distribution networks to expand your reach quickly.

  • 🥂 Partnerships and Collaborations: Drum your IG / LI messages to collaborate with like-minded brands, influencers, and event organizers to increase brand visibility and create buzz around your product. Host strategic pop-up events and tastings to introduce your non-alcoholic cocktails to customers.

Phase 3: Marketing and Scaling (Days 61-90)

  • 🎥 Storytelling: Develop a kick-ass digital marketing strategy to reach Generation Z. Leverage social media platforms, influencer partnerships, and content marketing to create a buzz

  • 📈 E-commerce Platform: Spin up a Shopify website to sell your non-alcoholic cocktails directly. Optimize the website for a seamless user experience, offer subscriptions or bulk purchase options

  • 🥰 Community Building: Create online forums, host virtual events, and actively engage with your customers on social media. Ask for user-generated content and testimonials in exchange for free product

  • 👂Customer Feedback and Iteration: Gather feedback daily from your customers and make necessary adjustments to your product, packaging, or marketing strategy. Stay agile and responsive to the evolving needs and preferences of your target audience.

Got your own idea? Share it by tapping the big button below.

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