Australian non-alcoholic spirits brand, Lyre’s, has enjoyed huge growth in the 18 months since its launch, but this year’s Dry January has brought record numbers.

Lyre’s Founder Mark Livings told The Shout that through the Lyre’s global footprint of over 40 countries, the brand is well-placed to see the importance of Dry January, but is also seeing that the month has a long tail and that Lyre’s is continuing its strong growth trajectory into February.

“The Lyre’s business has been growing explosively, but January has been particularly telling, with regards to how important the month has become for our category,” Livings said.

“One of the things we’ve learned, and we are probably one of the only businesses that can talk to this, given we have a 40-plus country footprint, we can observe exactly how important January is globally. We saw enormous spikes in the US, the UK and Europe, versus this time last year we have seen 1000 per cent growth.

“Something really telling is that we broke our revenue record in December and then we recorded a month 400 per cent larger in January.

“One of the things that we are seeing as well is that it’s sticky and people are continuing their Dry January experience into February. So we are on track to burst our January record in February at the moment.

“We are now seeing that Dry January is ubiquitous, it’s global, it’s incredibly important and it has a long tail after January ends and people tend to stay in the category.”

In terms of which Lyre’s drinks are proving popular, Livings told The Shout that the brand’s position in multiple markets and the range of products it offers does give it strong insights into consumer behaviour.

“What we are seeing in different markets is that the world likes to drink what the world likes to drink,” Livings said.

“If you look at the traditional spirits category in the United Kingdom, gin is more than 30 per cent of that category. So our Dry London spirit is our most popular SKU in the UK, but it’s a long way behind in the United States, where our American Malt is the most popular. You look at the traditional spirits category in the US and gin is only about five per cent.

“We are seeing people enjoy the non-alcoholic version of the spirits they already know and love, time after time and across different countries.”

There are other factors fuelling the growth that Lyre’s has enjoyed over the last 18 months, with Livings saying: “The biggest thing for Lyre’s is the health, wellness, mindfulness tailwind that is pushing the category forward. Also it is no longer taboo to be sober, there is a broad social acceptance of that now.

“The category is also benefiting from improvements in beverage technology, which is delivering far better liquids than it has in the past. And the other reason that we are seeing the growth we are seeing is simply the fact that we’ve built a brand that’s based on being a frictionless alternative for existing flavours and profiles that people already know and are familiar with. So we have a very low barrier to entry for people to jump over; it’s as simple as ‘do you like gin? Then try this’.”

He added: “Dry January brings a lot of new people into the category who weren’t there before, and I think they stick around and they learn to integrate Lyre’s into how they drink. We are seeing around the world that our drinkers are drinkers. They enjoy a glass of wine or a beer on a Friday or Saturday night, but they also want to drink something midweek but might have decided they are not going to drink from Sunday to Thursday. We are there for those people.”

Looking back over the last 18 months, Livings said that he is proud of what the brand has accomplished so far.

“To show a Dry January 1,000 per cent larger in revenue terms than last year tells us we’re really on the right track.

“We’ve just established our footprint in our 40th Country, recruited our 50th full time staff member and are hitting mid-cap firm annualised revenues. There are extraordinary tailwinds fuelling the category’s growth and I’m delighted that we seem to have the right product and brand to continue to outpace the growth of the category and grow share.”

And looking forward, he added: “2021 is going to be particularly exciting for us as we scale our RTD range globally, deliver even more innovations to market and with some luck, start to see our products again placed behind the bars of the world’s best establishments as the world turns to reopening.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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