Tell us about your business
Free Spirit is Singapore’s First and Only Alcohol Free Bottle Shop! We specialise in selling to the retail and wholesale market some of the best alcohol free beer, wine and spirits from all over the world. The products that we sell actually taste like the real thing so it’s easy to reduce your intake of alcohol or even give up for a bit when you use our products.
What’s your role all about?
I run the operations side of the business, day to day talking to customers, delivery companies, making sure we have stock, creating content for marketing and of course the best role is being the official “Beer Taster” for new products we want to take on.
What’s the hot topic in your sector right now?
Definitely the alcohol free movement happening in Australia and around the world. I think in Asia we are a little bit behind but it’s about to explode. If you look at numbers in Australia alone, The IWSR (International Wines and Spirits Record), in 2021 a study of No and Low alcohol reported:
● 71% of Australian consumers intend to maintain or increase their no or low-alcohol consumption next year.
● IWSR forecasts that the no- and low-alcohol volume in Australia will grow by 16% from 2020 to 2024.
● In 2020 in Australia no- and low-alcohol sales increased by 2.9%. Alcohol sales decreased by -1.4%.
The demand for quality alcohol-free, adult drinks is growing day-by-day.
Why are you a member of AustCham in Singapore?
I like to keep in touch with other Australians in a variety of industries. Being a SME often you are on your own or in a small team, so you often don’t have the full range of skills you need. Sometimes and it’s great to have AustCham there to ask for help, support or connections. It’s like having an extended arm to other areas and everyone in the chamber including staff and members are always willing to help out.
Where are your favourite places to go to relax in Singapore?
I love to go out on the water with my son and go fishing. It’s definitely not as good as Australian fishing BUT at least you’re out on the water relaxing and enjoying the open space even if there are a few container ships in the way. Other than out at sea I love the feel of Haji Lane with all the little bars, restaurants and boutique shops to wander through.
What are your predictions for the next 12 months?
I predict the alcohol free market will massively expand similar to what happened with the vegetarian market 10 years ago. 10 years ago there wasn’t a vegetarian section on menus in restaurants and now it’s standard. I think in the next couple of years there will be a standard on drinks menus to have a “Zero Zone” and have “ADULT” alcohol free drinks like beers, wines and spirits NOT coke, water or OJ.
How did you get into the business of selling alcohol free drinks?
I joined OYNB (One Year No Beer) during the first lockdown in 2020 for a 90 day challenge and found myself looking for an adult alcohol free options, like a decent alcohol-free beer, with not much success. There were a few around, but nothing great. I then spoke to a friend (Rebecca – Free Spirit’s co-founder) who was bringing some stuff over from Australia for her husband who was alcohol free at the time and we started to talk about the need for it in Singapore. And that was that, Free Spirit was launched!
Do you drink alcohol?
I do still drink alcohol and I also drink alcohol free depending on the situation. We aren’t here to tell people “Drinking is bad, don’t do it” we are just here to support people’s choices whatever they may be. I actually find myself now drinking 50/50 alcohol/alcohol free. So on a night out I’ll have one alcoholic beer and one non alcoholic beer all night and that non alcoholic beer keeps me relatively hydrated and not too intoxicated and I wake up refreshed the next day rather than hungover craving junk food. Then every now and again I’ll take a few weeks off alcohol to give my body a re-set.