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Product, Service & Design Innovation
Mocktail Club Raises the Bar for Sophisticated, Sustainable, Socially Conscious (Non)Spirits

Founder Pauline Idogho and her diverse team of BIPOC women have created a line of globally inspired, ready-to-drink, organic, non-alcoholic cocktails that support environmental sustainability and social health and inclusion around the world.

The possibilities for alcohol-infused libations often seem endless, with consumers sifting through long lists of alcoholic drinks and cocktails on offer. However, for non-drinkers, this ‘sifting’ may be short-lived. Whether you’re full-time sober or merely cutting back, your drinking preference should not automatically limit the availability of tasty options; so, when Pauline Idogho set out to find herself a sophisticated, healthy, non-alcoholic drink to sip on, the lack of enticing options inspired her to create Mocktail Club — a line of premium, crafted, ready-to-drink, non-alcoholic cocktails.

“I left the corporate world to create Mocktail Club because I felt there was a clear need for it in the market; and I realized I was not alone,” Idogho told Sustainable Brands™. “There’s a growing market of people not drinking for various reasons, looking for a solution that caters to their sophisticated adult palate — and that’s where Mocktail comes in.”

In 2018, Idogho left the corporate finance world after 15 years to embark on her mission to provide delicious alternatives for the non-alcoholic market. Her solution could not have come at a better time, as the trend towards no-/low-alcohol beverage options grows — the market value almost reached $10 billion in 2021 up from $7.8 billion in 2018; and there has been a 58 percent global increase in people choosing non-/low-alcoholic cocktails in the past year, with the market surpassing the growth rate of spirits.

“Consumers are asking for more options, and the availability of non-alcoholic drinks is on the rise,” Idogho says. “This demand is partly driven by the growing trend of people cutting down on alcohol to live healthier and balanced lifestyles.”

Focusing on creating drinks that are beneficial to people's lives, Mocktail Club uses healthy, functional, organically sourced ingredients such as apple cider vinegar and pomegranate juice, which contain antioxidants. Its beverages are non-GMO-certified and avoid using colouring, preservatives and additives. Mocktail’s creative flavours offer sophisticated choices for people who want to be social while living a healthier life and maintaining their personal boundaries.

“Our drinks recreate the complexity, nuance and boldness of a great cocktail by using savory, tart, sweet and bitter notes,” Idogho says. “We are not trying to mimic or create a faux version of alcoholic cocktails, as we have found that people have anchored expectations for what that should taste like and are typically disappointed.”

Since Mocktail’s launch in 2018, Idogho has amassed an international team of BIPOC women from Nigeria, Argentina and Vietnam. She says another part of her mission is ensuring that her team is diverse and offers great opportunities for women with respect to race and experience.

“Mocktail’s mission is to redefine the social drinking experience for everyone. This is about inclusivity and diversity; and we want to appeal to everyone and ensure that our team reflects the diverse world,” she explains. “As a woman of color, it is also important to me that we provide opportunities for a diverse and talented team that can [typically] be overlooked and to ensure that diversity of thoughts and perspectives thrive in the organization.”

The multicultural team also helps contribute to the unique and exotic flavours of the Mocktails — with each flavour profile inspired by the team's global travels, blending the likes of cardamom and lemongrass.

Mocktail Club also seeks to help provide clean water to communities in need around the world, partnering with and donating 1 percent of all sales to Water for People — a global charity committed to bringing sustainable clean water and sanitation systems to communities in developing countries.

In addition to helping to provide clean water access to those in need and non-alcoholic alternatives to non-drinkers, Mocktail Club is also taking steps to limit its own footprint — the Mocktails come in cans instead of bottles, to reduce the size and weight of transport; and the company is exploring use clean energy in its production facilities.

Alongside Mocktail Club, Idogho serves as the founding member and head of the finance committee of the Adult Non-Alcoholic Beverage Association, supporting members and promoting inclusivity amongst individuals who have experienced feeling left out because of their drinking preference.

“It is important to create a strong trade association,” Idogho asserts. “Then, we can empower our members to create strong brands and reshape the way the non-alcoholic sector is viewed, creating a culture where everyone can partake and feel good in any setting.”