Papas Minerals, the Northern Ireland specialist in traditional non-alcoholic drinks, has experienced a significant rise in sales in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland during the current pandemic lockdown.
The company, based in Bangor, county Down, and a Food NI member, has also had approaches for its old-fashioned beverages such as ginger wine, including a sugar-free version, as well as cordials with elderflower, clove and spiced winterberry flavours. It also produces a sarsaparilla and a traditional lemonade.
The surge in sales, especially outside Northern Ireland, is the result of an investment by the small artisan business in the latest digital technology for e-commerce.
Wayne Adair, founder of Papas Minerals, explains: “We set up the e- commerce site just before Christmas and ahead of the current pandemic. The decision was influenced by the first lockdown and the closure of the Christmas markets that we take part in such as Belfast St George’s and the Continental, as well as two in Glasgow and Galway. All cancelled along with many other events.”
He continues: “It’s proved to be a wise decision and has driven sales. The additional business in Britain and the Irish Republic has increased our profile in both markets.”
The company has seen its unique ginger wine leading the growth in sales. “As people have to encouraged to order six bottles, they have been choosing a range of minerals in glass bottles which are easily recycled. They’ve also been choosing spiced winterberry, a clove and a peppermint,” adds Wayne.
The company has also seen a rapid growth in digital of its contemporary mixers including its Longbridge branded ginger ale, traditional tonic and raspberry and rose throughout the UK and Irish Republic.
The traditional craft minerals are produced from original recipes without artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners.
Wayne, who founded the award winning craft business in 1999, says the growth, especially in Britain, has also been influenced by increasing interest in traditional products with provenance and heritage.
“We are finding increasingly that people of all ages are looking for different tastes from artisan producers who have total control over their products. Our minerals are all handcrafted and bottled from original recipes and using traceable ingredients. Customers can count on different flavours from consistently high quality non-alcoholic beverages.
Papas Minerals produces its range of soft drinks in 750ml bottles, also hand labelled.