In our series profiling innovators in the low and no alcohol industry, Jukes tells us about his brand's story so far.
BD: Introduce us to Jukes..
We launched in early 2020 in the UK followed by the US in 2021. Jukes Cordialities is a unique category of sophisticated premium beverages for discerning adults, with complex flavors assembled by the olfactory and sensory expertise of a professional wine taster.
All Jukes drinks are based on a ‘backbone’ of organic apple cider vinegar with the additions of fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices and edible flowers that add perfume, flavor and complexity. Jukes drinks are very low in sugar and calories, so as well as tasting luxurious and adult they are also good for you, too.
Jukes currently offers three varieties in the US: Jukes 1 – The White, Jukes 6 – The Red and Jukes 8 – the Rosé. Two additional varieties are available in the UK only: Jukes 5 – The Crisp White and Jukes 2 – The Bright Red.
In the Fall of 2022, Jukes also launched canned sparkling versions of Jukes 1, Jukes 6 and Jukes 8 as a ready-to-drink option for both the US and UK markets.
While we started our business in the UK (Jukes is made in Battersea, London) we have seen the US market expand rapidly and, in addition, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Singapore and the Middle East are all very exciting markets for us. We also expect to expand into Scandinavia soon, too.
What sets your brand apart from the rest?
Jukes are specifically designed for discerning adults who want to maintain their high standards of taste and pleasure, even when they are not indulging in alcohol. Handmade in London from natural ingredients, Jukes Cordialities is a low-calorie, low-sugar, vegan and alcohol-free beverage that supports a thoughtful lifestyle. Jukes pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes, having been designed specifically to enhance the fine dining experience.
What does your job involve?
Having assembled a very capable team my day-to-day responsibilities are focused on telling the story about Jukes drinks as well as conducting tastings with prospective customers. We have grown rapidly from a UK-based business to a worldwide one and so I work in multiple time zones every day which is always a challenge. We are a truly international team with English, Australian, French, Venezuelan, Greek, American, French and Italian employees and so we all have different experiences and skills to draw on making our camaraderie strong and exciting.
How have you see the low/no market change since you founded Jukes? And what do you see coming in 2023?
There are many more players in the low/no market than there were five years ago when I started developing the Jukes drinks and yet we have continued to focus on the luxury end of the category with a strong focus on both wellbeing and also food-matching and this makes us somewhat unique. With my background in wine tasting and also on-trade wine consultancy I feel we have an interesting angle that sets us apart.
What will 2023 bring for you?
In terms of new products, we are very excited to launch a Sparkling Pinot Noir product in the US in 2023. For our existing line of offerings, one of our biggest goals for the New Year is expanding our presence in US restaurants. In the UK we are available at a large number of Michelin-starred restaurants and hope to prioritize those types of relationships over in the States as well. We feel that our Sparkling Collection cans will explode in popularity, too, as ‘ready to pour’ will inevitably be a critical part of our offering. We have large marketing push coming in 2023, which is very exciting, too.
What inspires you on your low/no alcohol journey?
Our inspiration comes directly from our consumers. The feedback from day one has been incredible, especially from first-timers, who are genuinely shocked by the depth of flavor and complexity of aromas found in our drinks. The fact that they offer so much depth at the same time as finishing dry and refreshing is a revelation to many.
When they learn about the low sugar and calories our consumers have a genuine ‘eureka moment’. Our returning customer rate is extremely high and this fact alone spurs us on to greater heights.
Having been a wine taster and journalist for over three decades and never finding any no/low wine remotely palatable, it is so encouraging to have invented a wine replacement that genuinely pairs with food at the same time as rewarding the customer.
What’s your favorite product from your company/brand’s line-up and why?
Jukes 6 (The Red) was the very first invention and it is also our best-seller. There are so many stories of chefs, sommeliers, and even Masters of Wine, who have tasted Jukes 6 and been left completely speechless. It makes me so proud to run through our line-up of drinks knowing that Jukes 6 is the final flavor that I pour and so I can almost guarantee that a Jukes tasting will finish on a high!