Profile series: Innovators in low/no alcohol
My Drynuary: 'Taste is everything. Alcohol-free brands should never forget that'
Amanda Thomson forged her early career as an arts broadcaster on national TV and radio. But with a keen interest in what's in her food, she left her career in entertainment behind and upped sticks to Paris where she studied wine at the Cordon Bleu School - ultimately founding alcohol-free Noughty as an alternative to Champagne and fine wine in 2019. The premium alcohol-free sparkling and still wine brand avoids unnecessary sugar and additives, and is B Corp certified.
BD: What sets your brand apart from the rest?
Taste. It’s everything. Drinks brands should never forget that.
How have you see the alcohol-free market change since you launched Noughty in 2019? And how do you expect to see the market evolve further in 2023?
It’s a fast upward trajectory that I don’t think anyone predicted would be quite so rapid. It’s such an obvious thing. To have our premium brand at the heart of the wine business. Wherever there is good wine, there should be Noughty. It’s a no brainer.
We’re in so many markets around the world now, with the US now number 1 which is hugely exciting. And we have barely even scratched the surface of the opportunity.
January traditionally sees increased interest in the alcohol-free category. What will this month - and the rest of 2023 - look like for Noughty?
We’re a brand that’s not just for January but for life. No doubt there’ll be an uptake in those trying our bottles for the first time this month but our clients drink and enjoy Noughty as part of a balanced lifestyle all year round.
We have the upcoming launches of Noughty Blanc and Rosé, our next two still wines to add to Noughty Rouge and complete our delicious portfolio.
What inspires you on your alcohol-free journey?
Talking with the future facing leaders of tomorrow around the world is hugely inspiring. I’m not long back from EY’s Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs where the original innovator Will i.am played and the great and good of the investment world convened. There’s no question that the visionaries see Noughty and quality non-alcoholic drinks brands like mine as the future of drinking. My fellow ANBA founders are also brilliantly open and insightful - it’s a surprisingly collegiate group, in no small part to Marcos Salazar who brought us all together. I’m a founding board member in the US - the only Brit - and vice chair of our new UK/EU chapter.
What’s your favorite product from your brand’s line-up and why?
Like any good wine, it really depends on the mood, food and company. It’s a moment. Our newest baby, Noughty Rouge, which the New York Times loved, is currently my obsession. That said, our gorgeous bubbles are perfect anytime. A Noughty Mimosa in the morning turns any sad January day into a much better one!