The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Kiwi start-up wins gold with alcohol-free beverages

Kiwi start up AF Drinks has taken out four medals including Gold at the International Spirits Business Low & No Masters 2022 Awards held in London this month.

The local brand, which launched in December 2020, took out Gold for AF Apero Spritz and Silver medals for its AF Classic G&T, AF Cucumber G&T and AF Dark & Stormy drinks.

The Awards, which launched in 2021, had a 66% increase in entries to the previous year representative of the fierce growth within the category over the past 12 months.

With global growth of the category estimated at 31% by 2024 (IWRS), the Awards set out to determine the quality of what’s being launched and if those drinks actually lived up to expectations.

With more than 150 entries across categories, AF Drinks was up against solid competition from established global brands in the non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink category.

“It’s a real honour to receive these medals especially given we have only been in market for just over a year,” says Lisa King, Founder of AF Drinks.

“It’s great to be recognised by spirit specialists and sommeliers, alongside established global brands in this relatively new local category.

“We know the alcohol free spirit trend is here to stay,” says King. “New Zealand is a little behind the trend however with mass growth in Europe and the US, achieving recognition at these Awards is a great sign that AF drinks hit the spot for taste and quality.”

The company is planning to make AF available in overseas markets this year.

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