Forbes Article - Boisson Receives Funding From Beverage Giant Pernod Ricard

Forbes Article - Boisson Receives Funding From Beverage Giant Pernod Ricard

Written By Forbes.com | Kate Dingwell, Contributor 

Boisson, a leading non-alcoholic retailer in the United States, has received a $5 million bridge investment led by Pernod Ricard’s Convivialite Ventures.

 

“Boisson plays a key role in the fast-growing non-alcoholic category, by discovering and curating the best non-alcoholic brands for consumers,” Brandon Yahn, Partner at Convivialité Ventures shared. “The company helps the leading NA brands expand their business across Boisson’s retail, ecommerce, and growing wholesale channels. We are thrilled to work closely with them on the next stage of their journey.” Convivilate Ventures’ current portfolio includes both alcoholic brands, including Bartesian and Liquid Death, and non-alcoholic, Ghia, AF, and Agua Bonita.

 

The investment shows major support in the non-alcoholic category by a spirits giant. If these two categories should seem at odds consider that most of Boisson’s clientele are consumers who drink regular alcohol, but are looking to imbibe less or more thoughtfully. In 2022, the global market for no- and low-alcoholic beverages surpassed $11 billion in market value, according to the IWSR.

 

Boisson was founded by Nick Bodkins and Barrie Arnold in 2021. Currently, Boisson has eight stores across the United States, including five brick-and-mortars in New York (Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, West Village, Upper East Side and Upper West Side), two in Los Angeles (Brentwood and Studio City) and one in San Francisco.

 

The brand aims to be a one-stop-shop for non-alcoholic products, including brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, and on-premise businesses. Each location is stocked with pre-mixed cocktails, spirit alternatives, non-alcoholic wines and zero-proof beers. A Miami outpost will open before the end of the year.

 

Alongside the investment announcement comes the appointment of new CEO Sheetal Aiyer, who will lead the brand in its expansion. Aiyer is a seasoned executive with a career focus on scaling CPG businesses, including Marie Veronique skincare and Cardinal Spirits.

 

“As Boisson is the pre-eminent tastemaker and omni channel platform in the space, joining the company was a no-brainer,” says Aiyer. “ I believe there are endless opportunities for the brand and am excited to lead them into their next stage of growth.” Founder Nick Bodkins will remain at leadership level, but will be pivoting to focus on growth opportunities.

 

With the funds, the team plans to expand retail markets while “refining our direct-to-consumer business,” says Aiyer. “The latest funds will fuel continued brick and mortar expansion, including a Miami storefront slated to open before the end of the year. They will also be put towards international expansion, strategic brand partnerships and new product collections.”

 

He cites plans to build a more robust on-premise wholesale arm and growing the off-premise chain account businesses. “We will also look at potentially launching additional proprietary beverages across a multitude of categories.” Over the last several years, sales of non-alcoholic spirits, beers, and wines have skyrocketed as consumers become more conscious about their drinking and health habits.

 

“Year-over-year there continues to be innovation in the non-alcoholic category and the demand has never been higher with more and more consumers looking to enjoy the social act of drinking without the health ramifications,” says Bodkins.

 

“Additionally, the perception of nonalcoholic beverages has changed a lot, even over the last year,” he continues. “While many of us used to see NA beverages as glorified juices and sodas, several brands like Ghia, Pentire, Kolonne Null and French Bloom have demonstrated that zero-proof options can still be sophisticated and complex in taste.”

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