Meet the brand owning Dry January — and beyond

Sophie Maxwell, Pearlfisher Futures Director

Better health is usually the key resolution thrust into the spotlight each January. And the start of 2017 seems to be more health focused than ever before with daily feeds about nutrition and exercise and a host of celebrities and personal trainers on social media documenting their regimes and coaching us to new and improved versions of ourselves. Different people and different voices but the new-year messaging invariably remains the same: less fat, cut sugar, no booze…

With an increased consumer desire for healthy options, food and drink brands have an opportunity to own this time, provide new solutions and truly innovative offers that not only impact our health long beyond January, but that also have the potential to steer our behaviour and relationship with food and drink in a radical new direction. Seedlip is one such brand doing this.

The world’s first distilled, non-alcoholic spirit, Seedlip is not just indisputably owning and driving this year’s Dry January but is instrumental in establishing a whole new brand and ‘dry drinking’ culture. Seedlip offers a grown-up, contemporary, sophisticated and very desirable ‘like for like’ drinking choice, in the form of a Seedlip Martini or a Seedlip & Tonic. But over and above this, the brand is carving an exciting new niche because it is successfully making an increasingly popular lifestyle choice just as desirable as drinking alcohol through a combination of a unique offer, marketing, design and experience.

Seedlip is creating new drinking experiences and cultural partnerships, traditionally dominated by the established booze giants — think Heineken becoming synonymous with the nightlife scene and Veuve Clicquot with art. But the very nature of this start-up means that it is not single-mindedly pursuing one route, but looking for ways to realise more novel, original and surprising brand directions and occasions.

In a first-of-its-kind partnership, Seedlip has paired up with South Kensington Restaurant, Launceston Place. For the whole of this month, the restaurant is offering an indulgent five-course tasting menu paired with a series of unique, non-alcoholic Seedlip cocktails.

And, unlike traditional drinks brands, Seedlip is not positioning and promoting itself purely as a drinks brand. Instead, it is setting itself up as a brand dedicated to inspiring, educating and connecting us to the ‘art of nature’ through the power of botanicals. It has just announced its partnership with Harvey Nichols to transform the Fifth Floor Terrace into a haven celebrating nature with master-classes in dry drink cocktails and ‘Nature in a Bottle’ events to create a self-contained and self-sustaining eco system in a bottle.

Ben Branson, Founder of Seedlip, said, “I wanted to solve the dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’ but also create something that’s desirable, beautiful and attractive and that has real meaning. Today, brands mean different things to different people. Our strong branding and storytelling helps us encourage this notion of individual connection by allowing people to immerse in layers of discovery and interpret what Seedlip means to them and to their lifestyle choices — beyond just being a quality and healthy drink of choice.”

Seedlip is the perfect example of a successful and popular challenger that clearly and openly illustrates a new opportunity for all brands: how to own a relevant part of culture and extend their brand into immersive experiences for consumers that live long past that specific moment in time.

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