Seattle Times Article: Seattle is courting a growing sober-curious crowd with nonalcoholic wines and booze

Read the full article by Mark Van Streefkerk at The Seattle Times here. LINK

Jessica Selander is used to changing people’s minds about nonalcoholic wine. It took years of careful research and development to launch her nonalcoholic wine company Jøyus.

In 2021, despite using the latest technology to create her award-winning, dealcoholized wine, some buyers still question its marketability. In Selander’s experience however, skeptics quickly change their minds the moment they taste it. 

“It is so fun to see the look on a wine buyer’s face when they try it for the first time because they are not expecting it to taste like that at all,” she said. “The look on their face says, ‘Oh, this is different.’” 

The judges at the San Francisco International Wine Competition were also convinced, awarding Jøyus’ sparkling rosé and sparkling white with gold and bronze medals, respectively, last November. The SFIWC is one of the oldest and largest competitions in the U.S., and in 2021 it drew 3,000 entries from 31 countries. The gold and bronze medals make Jøyus the only award-winning nonalcoholic wine on the market. According to Selander, it’s a big step in rethinking how we view alcohol in our culture.

Attitudes toward alcohol consumption have already been shifting, in part due to a millennial and Gen Z emphasis on health and wellness, as well as drinking changes during the pandemic. In 2021, nonalcoholic beverage sales increased by 33% to $331 million in the U.S., and a new wave of beverage companies cropped up in the last few years, catering to the sober-curious and sober-sometimes consumer with zero- and low-proof beers and spirits. Expertly crafted mocktails and nonalcoholic beers are one thing, but with the launch of Jøyus, Selander hopes to bring the same dry option to the wine category. 

“Most celebratory moments involve alcohol, right? On New Year’s Eve, everybody’s drinking Champagne. [It’s] pretty much at every happy, celebratory moment that we’ve got,” she said. For nondrinkers however, alcohol isn’t a celebratory element. Selander said the idea behind Jøyus is to “bring back that happiness, that joy, that celebration and togetherness” — just without the alcohol. 

Read the full article by Mark Van Streefkerk at The Seattle Times here. LINK