The City Pub Group, which owns and operates an estate of premium pubs across the southern half of England and South Wales has announced that it will launch premium alcohol-free wine brand Noughty initially across 10 of its free houses from January 2023, rolling out to more locations across the year.
Noughty, launched by British wine entrepreneur Amanda Thomson and her company Thomson & Scott in 2019, has quickly become the leading non-alcoholic alternative to Champagne and wine in under three years on the market. This will be the first major pub deal for the brand in the UK and will revolutionize choice for customers looking to balance their alcohol intake and still enjoy delicious sparkling and still wine.
Clive Watson, Group Chairman and Co-Founder of City Pub Group says - “I’m delighted to announce we will be stocking Noughty alcohol-free wine in 10 of our pubs in the New Year. It will be poured in sites like the Phene in Chelsea, Aragon House in Parsons Green and the Cambridge Brew House. I’ve been working closely with Amanda Thomson over the last few months to plan the launch and we’re really excited to give City Pub Group’s customers the premium alcohol-free Noughty wine experience in 2023, which we then hope to roll out to the wider group.”
Amanda Thomson, CEO and Founder of Thomson & Scott says - “Striking this deal with one of the industry’s trail-blazers Clive Watson is perfect timing as more consumers find greater balance in their social drinking habits. City Group’s innovative approach means we will be able to reach a distinct demographic across the country and further cement our position as the go-to alternative to alcoholic wine. Where City Pub Group and Noughty lead, others will follow.”
The beer and spirits industry has recently penetrated on-trade with successful non-alcoholic brands sitting next to existing alcoholic choices behind the bar. Until now, the wine industry has struggled to offer a quality alternative to its alcoholic bottles.
Noughty currently produces a non-alcoholic sparkling Chardonnay and a sparkling Rosé with the launch of its Noughty Rouge red still wine in July already making a significant impact across international retail markets. It will launch its Noughty Blanc and Noughty Rosé still wines in 2023 to complete the portfolio.
The City Pub Group, originally founded by Clive Watson, David Bruce and John Roberts, has a portfolio of venues that consists of predominantly freehold, managed pubs, offering a wide range of high-quality drinks and food. Established in 2011, the Group has a collection of 45 unbranded free-house pubs, clustered around affluent Cathedral cities and market towns, with further sites expected to open.
Operating in the premium managed pub sector, serving craft ales, craft spirits and independent coffee brands its food menus are also developed individually for each pub and offer high quality, freshly prepared food. Increasingly, more healthy and vegan options are being offered in each pub to broaden the appeal to a wider range of customers. In addition, its bedrooms and function rooms are an increasingly important part of its business model.
The non-alcoholic drinks sector is unquestionably growing rapidly. In the US across 2020/21, off-trade sales reached ‘$3.1 billion across low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines, beer and spirit categories,’ up from $291 million the previous year according to NeilsenIQ. The most recent Waitrose Food and Drink Report in October 2021 stated that customer demand for alcohol-free drinks continues to increase by 22% year on year.
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