The WHY of making non-alcoholic wine

The guiding principles of Ones+

Updated on
The WHY of making non-alcoholic wine

When we decided to wind down TH Wines in 2019, it meant a drop in engagement with our wine community that grew over the nine years of production.


There are things we miss, like cold calling a repeat customer, and listening as they covered the receiver to yell to a friend “It’s the wine I was telling you about! I can see if we can get you some of their Viognier too!” And then the customer gets back on the line, and we walk through the back catalogue to see what the friend would enjoy. Making customers happy is satisfying.


We want to create the same connection with Ones+: a group of people with an interest in both the work we’re doing and the community we're building.


A benefit we enjoy with Ones+ is that we're not building it from scratch. TH Wines has lent its expertise to its little sibling business, helping with things like “how to run a beverage company”.


Where the relationship with TH Wines has less crossover benefit is with its customers; people who drank TH Wines aren’t automatically drawn to Ones+.


It’s an understandable hesitation. Not only is our product not an alcoholic wine (and missing the flavour benefit of high ethanol), in the non-alc world it’s an outlier because it’s sugar-free.


A friend asked: why not make a sweet beverage with chemical adds that DOES appeal to a broader market?


Our expectation is that once consumers discover non-alc wine, a portion of them will be interested in the nutritional label and product origins (as well as taste). That’s our market. In the same way that TH Wines aligned with customers that valued hand-crafted goods, a narrow swath of the market will gravitate towards Ones+.


It's good to be challenged with "why aren't you doing this" questions, as they test the foundational ideas. In making the decisions that guide our business, we follow three principles.


1. We need to be profitable, which means we must sell enough wine to pay the bills. It’s a basic idea, but if you don’t state it, you can get trapped in a grind.


2. Crafting the product must feel good, and you should be proud of the result. If it’s not something that’s enjoyable to make, the business transforms from a joy to a chore.


3. The community is a better place because the product exists. Selling alcoholic wine as you’re cutting out personal alcohol consumption is difficult, because you begin to question your contribution to the community, but bringing a sugar-free non-alcoholic wine into existence does help a lot of people. It belongs in our community.


To those who have ordered, we hope the wine has found a place at your table, and to those who haven’t, we hope you find value in sticking around.


We loaded the site with six more of the Mixed 6-packs, and we're working on getting distribution points to make is easier to buy a bottle.

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