Echo Falls alcohol-free Sparkling Tisane Infusion is a soft drink made from 95% fermented grape juice with green tea, which the company says gives it a more complex structure and similar “mouth-feel” to wine.
It is the only non-alcoholic product in the company’s portfolio and was developed by Accolade and wine consultant Dave Pahl.
It is currently being trialled in 140 Tesco stores, but a wider consumer campaign will roll out in the New Year, targeting its existing consumer base to communicate the product as an everyday sparkling wine alternative. It will also target new mums with sampling at The Baby Show at Excel in February.
Senior brand manager Deborah Zbinden told OLN the drink offered something new to Echo Falls consumers and was a good fit” for the brand. “There has been a growth in everyday sparklers so as well as appealing to females who are new to the category, it offers a credible substitution to sparkling wines for pregnant women and designated drivers,” she said.
Consumers are increasingly seeking out no or low-alcohol options but there are relatively few zero-alcohol products on the market, she said, adding that the product is intended to sit alongside Echo Falls’ existing range, rather than in the soft drinks aisle.
“Tisane will open up the category and occasion and show the spontaneous, fun aspect of the Echo Falls brand,” said Zbinden.
The Californian brand is the third biggest wine brand in the UK and saw growth of 4.1% to £161 million last year (Nielsen, year to April 26).
In July it launched a range of enhanced fruit-flavoured wines in a bid to attract a new generation of wine consumers who are increasingly turning to fruit-flavoured ciders and beers.
Mintel’s global drinks analyst, Jonny Forsyth, said the product would benefit from having the backing of one of the UK’s largest off-trade players, but questioned whether the UK was ready for the concept of non-alcoholic wine.
“Non-alcoholic drinks are gaining momentum but more for beer than wine at the moment,” he said. “As people become more used to the non-alcoholic beer concept, wine will start to benefit – but not yet.”