We spoke to long-standing friends of Marble and creators of delicious low alcohol beverages, Percival & Co about the changing appetite for guilt-free drinking. Since 2018, Georgina and her business partner, Lucy, have been sipping their way through the UK hard seltzer market, and they say that big changes are on the horizon.
DRINK UP WITH PERCIVAL & CO
Who are Percival & Co and how did it come about?
Percival & Co came about because the founders, Lucy & Georgina, were frustrated by the lack of options for interesting and delicious drinks with a lower alcohol volume. “We were living healthy lifestyles – eating well and exercising, but felt that all that went out of the window when we went to the pub in the evening and were faced with either a glass of wine or cocktail, both high in calories and alcohol.” Says Georgina.
How did you get into the low and no alcohol industry?
“We felt there had to be an alternative that would sit in line with our other lifestyle choices. We therefore went about developing an elegant drink with an edge – natural, low sugar hard tonics with 4% abv.” Georgina goes on to explain that the US market is typically 3 years ahead of the UK market, and the phenomenal boom in low alcohol beers and seltzers and cocktails lended itself perfectly to her business being founded.
Has the pandemic impacting drinking habits?
“Consumers are much more health focused since the pandemic and drinking less and better has become more the norm. Alongside reducing alcohol, brands have sought to cut back on sugar to create an all-round ‘better for you’ drink. This is what we have done with Percival & Co and our British hedgerow-inspired hard tonics are not only low in alcohol but low in calories too; delicious and sophisticated but with a healthier edge.”
Do you think low/no alcohol drinking will become the norm?
Not long ago, the idea of going to the pub and not drinking alcohol was almost socially unacceptable… But now 0% beers, hard seltzers and low and no cocktails have carved a category of sophisticated drinks that provide customers with a similar experience to one that they used to have, just without the alcohol. 25% of under 25’s don’t drink at all, so habits are most definitely changing.
Which is your favourite flavour of low/no alcohol beverage?
Percival & Co’s Rose & Juniper with a slice of grapefruit is my go-to evening drink. I also love a Pentire & tonic and a Freestar beer.
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