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IT might be more than halfway through dry January but with the country in strict lockdown, it’s not the easiest month to go booze free.
However the husband and wife team behind Glasgow-based drinks producer, Clever Kombucha, think they have come up with a more than palatable alternative to alcohol.
And it is a case of going back to basics and tradition as Alan and Kelsey Moore believe their new barley water drink could be just the tonic right now.
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It also signals a brand change and the couple, who are juggling an expanding product line with three children under five, including five-month-old twins, are so heavily invested in the business their new names is simply You + I.
They started Clever Kombucha, producing a fermented tea-based probiotic drink, from their home in the south side of Glasgow when they couldn’t find anything comparable in Scotland. Mrs Moore is originally from Canada, where kombucha is popular, so they decided to make their own. It was initially supplied to local cafes and stores in Glasgow and distributed across the UK.
Despite juggling a full family life, they wanted to expand the business and have taken on two members of staff as well as adding their new barley water drink as well as a range of botanical teas.You and I have launched barley water drink at the same time as rebrand
“I suppose we thought this was as good a time as any to launch a new product and the idea developed after we took on another member of the team who suggested it and here we are,” said Mr Moore.
While it might be a drink some would associate with days gone by, the rising demand for healthier alternatives to alcohol and soft drinks among health-conscious consumers fuelled their desire to develop a new product.
The You + I barley water range is produced by steeping real barley with complimentary fruits and herbs at the company’s taproom and the process means it is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals and completely natural.
It comes just three years after Clever Kombucha launched which grew from supplying around 20 local stockists to the fridges, shelves and even taps of hundreds of the best-known high-end UK outlets from Spitalfields to Shetland including bars, restaurants, coffee houses, farms shops, and health food outlets.
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The raw and unpasteurised vegan drinks – which include an original recipe and infusions using ginger, lemon, lavender, lime and sea salt – were created and brewed in their Gorbals base and the company has been at the forefront of the Scottish kombucha movement.
Mr Moore, 39, added: “We would never produce something which we wouldn’t drink ourselves and we are in quite a niche market, so will that might not return the biggest profit margins we are creating something which we believe in.”
The new name is borne out of complete confidence in the quality of the products and also Clever Kombucha wasn’t particularly relevant to the expanding business.
Mrs Moore, 36, said: “We believe in making products that are the best for ourselves and our customers. All our products are organic and natural.
“You + I is an innovative drinks company creating purposeful alternatives to the mass produced and unhealthy soft drinks that saturate the market.
“We chose the name as we wouldn’t drink the majority of the soft drinks on the market. We are therefore creating drinks for ourselves as well as our customers hence the name You + I.
“We don’t base decisions on what we think will sell the most and instead we base it on what we believe is the best product we can create.
“It is really important to us that we are truly proud of everything we produce as we couldn’t think of anything worse than having a product that’s sole intention was to make money.”
Kelsey and Alan Moore have rebranded Clever Kombucha to You I
Mr Moore, a Glasgow Caledonian University business graduate, was able to add his business acumen and experience gained running the couple’s successful online watch supply company to the mix.
He said: “I tend to look after the business side of things leaving Kelsey to focus on the creative aspects – which has worked really well for us so far.
“This is a massively exciting move for the firm, and the next logical step. We want to build on the success of our kombucha business and become the go-to brand for healthy drinks in Scotland and then farther afield.
“Consumers are far more health conscious now, particularly amongst younger demographics who are increasingly turning away from alcoholic drinks in social settings and at home and looking for more healthy and tasty alternatives.”
Whilst You + I is sold in London and set up to distribute across Europe, it is in Scotland – where it was created – that the firm wants to focus its attention first.
Mrs Moore added: “We want to be Scotland’s go-to kombucha brand. We are proud of You + I’s Scottish roots and want to celebrate them, and we are confident consumers too will feel proud to associate You + I as much with Scotland as they do with great tasting and truly healthy non-alcoholic drinks.”