33-year-old Kath Jones, from Aigburth, Liverpool says she is targeting high-end foodservice and hospitality venues with her products thanks to a huge shift in behaviour towards veganism, ketogenic lifestyles and a growing number of people cutting sugar from their diets.
ThinK Wine is an award-winning brand of prosecco and sparkling rose that offers consumers a healthier alternative to its full sugar competitors without losing the taste or percentage volume. And it has been wowing judges in blind taste tests.
ThinK Wine has just 75 calories and 0g carbs, 0g fat, with 0.58g of residual sugar per 125ml (this is legally classed as zero sugar by UK standards), while still retaining an ABV of 11%. The product contains no artificial sweeteners or ingredients.
So far, Kath has been selling direct to customers via the ThinK Wine website https://www.thinkwinegroup.co.uk, with the product available in a small number of exclusive, independent hospitality venues. She now aims to grow the trade side of her business after her own research found there is a gap in many premium restaurant and bar drinks menus for a luxury brand like ThinK Wine.
Customer feedback also highlighted strong demand for it. Consumers would love to see healthier alternatives on menus and in restaurants and bars where sugary, calorie-packed alcoholic drinks are often the only option. Kath says she wants her sparkling wines to be available in as many premium restaurants and bars as possible and has put in place a dynamic business development strategy to target the sector.
She explains: “My customers want the same healthier choices they have at home, when they are out for dinner or on a night out.
“It's a premium product so we're hoping to target fine dining establishments, premium restaurants, luxury hotels and cocktail bars, initially. I know this concept is a winner.
“It's a hugely popular product. People are increasingly health conscious, they are more switched on to things like sugar addiction, additives and sulphites, but they also still want to be able to enjoy a drink now and again.
“With no palatable alternative available on the market, I felt moved to create something. That's how ThinK Wine was born, and we've been growing exponentially ever since.”
Kath has been on a journey of discovery since she began her mission to bring ThinK Wine to fruition and as well as getting her products onto drinks menus is also keen to change people's perceptions of prosecco. She continues,
“Done right, prosecco is a premium product; it doesn't have to be filled with sugar, or worse, artificial sweeteners and sugar alternatives. The problem is that much of the cheaper prosecco that is readily available uses lots of sugar to mask the quality of the grape.
“It is giving this fabulous drink a bad name; but it doesn't have to be that way. We're not using sweeteners or artificial ingredients instead of sugar either, I want to be very clear on that.
“When you choose a premium quality grape, the natural flavour is all you need. Our customer feedback is that they love the product, and they can't get enough of it, but they also want to keep their diet low carb, vegan or low calorie without having to forgo dinner dates and nights out, or having to switch to a drink they don't like.
“Unfortunately, at the moment, there just aren't enough viable healthier choice sparkling wines out there on menus and wine lists, that also deliver on taste. I want to change that.”
ThinK Wine is available in a select number of independent restaurants including Pullman Hotel Liverpool, ACC arena Liverpool, Pendergast's Warrington, Castle Street Townhouse, Chester Townhouse and Hope and Smoke. The brand has continually outperformed its full sugar and non-vegan/organic competitors in blind taste tests and has won the following awards: People's Choice Wine Awards 2022 (silver), London Wine Competition 2022 (bronze), Glass of Bubbly 2022 (silver), The Drinks Business Global Pinot Grigio Masters 2020 (bronze) and Las Vegas Global Wine Awards (silver), as well as gaining a 4.96 rating on Judge Me.
Quality and taste is everything to the team at ThinK Wine, who believe that being Prosecco drinkers has given them an edge over the competitors in creating the perfect blend of flavours for wines with a fresh and revitalising finish, despite the health-conscious benefits. The company is proud to say that all of its wines are 100% vegan/organic and have low sulphites.
As a business ThinK Wine operates as sustainably as possible and as of March 2023 ThinK Wine Group has been a certified B-Corporation. The brand currently has two main product lines, with more product development in the pipeline for 2024.
ThinK Prosecco is a vegan and organic sparkling wine with both reduced sugar and calories. It is made from the finest Glera grapes from the heart of Treviso, north-east Italy for a Prosecco that is fresh, satisfying and luxurious. Its appearance is fine and persistent perlage, straw yellow colour.
On the nose its intense bouquet with light notes of green apple and citrus. The taste is fresh, aromatic and elegant, with light notes of bread crust and green apple.
ThinK Prosecco is a delicious complement to fried fish, tempura vegetables, tofu and fine meat. ThinK Pink is a Pinot Grigio Sparkling Rosé. It is a vegan and organic sparkling wine with both reduced sugar and calories.
ThinK Pink is made from the finest Pinot Grigio grapes from the heart of Treviso, north-east Italy. Its appearance is fine and persistent perlage with a light pink colour. On the nose its refined bouquet is characterised by delicate hints of strawberry, gooseberries and pink grapefruit.
The palate is fresh and delicate with a soft mousse. ThinK Prosecco pairs nicely with fish, vegetable and tofu dishes with light sauces.
Kath is already the founder/owner of a successful influencer marketing agency. Six years ago, she noticed a gap in the market when she found that attending constant parties and launches through her work took its toll on her waistline.
In trying to shift some extra pounds while still navigate the social aspects of her job, she had her lightbulb moment. What if there was a prosecco that you could drink without breaking a low sugar or low-calorie lifestyle and without fear of weight gain and bloating? But crucially, one that tastes great.
After consulting with her client-base, some of the UK's biggest online influencers and celebrities, she confirmed that the idea was a winner. “I work with a lot of celebrities and influencers in my 'day job' and I honestly haven't found one of them that thinks having a healthier prosecco on menus is a bad idea.
“They have busy schedules and always out attending launches and events in the evenings; they all agree that a less calorific version of their favourite fizz should be an option. But we're not just reliant on word of mouth, as a brand we've conducted extensive market research, and the outcome is always the same.
“A resounding yes please! My job now is to raise the ThinK Wine brand's profile among the bigger players in the foodservice industry and hopefully bring some positive changes to wine lists across the country.”
The global reduced sugar food & beverages market size was valued at USD 46.18 billion in 2021 and is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9% from 2022 to 2030. A major factor in the growth of the market is the increasing demand for healthy and low-sugar foods and drinks due to the rising health concerns, such as obesity and diabetes, created by regular consumption of high-fructose food & drinks.
The Vegetarian Society reports that reports there are just over 3 million vegetarian and vegans (adults and children over the age of 18 months) in the UK. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends adults should have no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day.
A study by WHO found significant harmful associations between sugar consumption and several outcomes, including asthma, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, depression and some cancers. More than 2.4 million people are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the UK based on blood sugar levels.
An estimated 850,000 people are currently living with type 2 diabetes but are yet to be diagnosed.