A.G. Barr, which is the company behind brands such as IRN-BRU, Rubicon, Strathmore and Funkin, will invest an initial £1m for a 20% minority stake in Elegantly Spirited Limited.
Elegantly Spirited Limited was recently formed by entrepreneurs Alex Carlton and Andrew King, original founders of the cocktail mixers business Funkin (Funkin was acquired by A.G. Barr in 2016).
STRYYK’s brands – which are positioned as a ‘stylish, sociable alternative to alcohol’ - include rum, vodka and gin alternatives.
Stryyk Not Rum: A zero-proof alternative to traditional rum, made from a combination of clove, oakwood and grapefruit. 100% natural with no sugar, no fat, no carbs and no artificial flavours.
Stryyk Not Vodka: A zero-proof alternative to traditional vodka, made from a combination of cucumber, coriander and apple. 100% natural with no added sugar, no artificial flavours and no allergens.
Stryyk Not Gin: A zero-proof alternative to traditional gin, made from a combination of juniper, basil and rosemary. 100% natural with no sugar, no fat, no carbs and no artificial flavours.
30% growth forecast for zero alcohol drinks
Zero alcohol drink sales are forecast to grow almost 10% a year over the next five years in Europe, according to Zenith Global. The UK is expected to show the highest growth rate at 30% a year.
Key growth drivers include increasing consumer attention to health and wellbeing, a cultural shift away from alcohol, technical advances in improving taste and marketing for more consumption occasions.
A.G. Barr is not alone in turning its attention to the alcohol alternative category. Diageo took a stake in non-alcoholic spirits brand Seedlip in 2016, while Pernod Ricard UK partnered with Ceder's Drinks last year to bring a non-alcoholic gin alternative to market.
Coca-Cola has also been experimenting with alcohol alternatives with Bar None: a collection of ready-to-drink mocktails.