STA, 8 February 2022 - Vera Spirits, the Ljubljana-based non-alcoholic spirits maker, has expanded its presence to 15 countries in just over a year in business, and has great ambitions for the future. Filling more than 10,000 bottles last year, it plans to grow four-fold in 2022.
Vera Spirits was founded by Luka Nagode and Urška Dvoraček, who set up a distillery in Ljubljana in 2019 with the aim of producing gin and rum, before moving into the innovative production of exclusively non-alcoholic spirits.
"We decided to take the non-alcoholic route because it presented a very exciting challenge," said Nagode, adding it is not necessary to consume alcohol to have fun, socialise and enjoy tasty beverages.
The market of alcohol-free drinks has seen strong growth in recent years, with beer leading the way. Non-alcoholic spirits, such as those produced by Vera Spirits, are also becoming an increasingly popular global trend.
The company has been present in the market since the end of 2020. Last year they filled and sold more than 10,000 bottles, generating revenue of EUR 15,000. They expect to reach 40,000 bottles this year and up to 250,000 bottles in five years.
"At that point, we should be ready to be taken over by bigger players in the alcohol world, who are already thinking about expanding their portfolio with alcohol-free drinks for adults," Nagode told the STA.
Vera Spirits employs five people and expects to recruit three new employees this year. It is currently present in 15 countries around the world.
They first decided to enter countries where the market is already established and consumers are familiar with such products to a certain extent, Nagode said, listing Australia, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, Germany and Denmark as examples.
The response from abroad has been excellent and they are now focusing their efforts more intensively on the Slovenian market, where they generated half their total revenue last year.
In 2022, the company intends to focus on the six markets that were the most profitable last year and try to consolidate and increase their presence there.
"It is not enough to get a local distributor, we have to empower them, support them financially and provide content with our products, so that they can be successful. We are delighted that the US is one of these markets," said Nagode.
Vera Spirits has thus far won top honours in the US Beverage Testing Institute and South Africa's Aurora International Taste, and it has been awarded three medals by The Spirits Business, a British magazine dedicated exclusively to spirits.