50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2021
The Silicon Review
The sensation of liquor comes with a price – a massive hangover and empty calories. Well, now there is an alternative without the alcohol or calories. Sounds too good to be true? Ritual Beverages Company brings to you drinks that echo the taste and sensation of liquor. The company behind the innovation is doing for spirits what Impossible Burger has done for hamburgers, and what Tesla has done for cars. Ritual offers a premium alternative to liquor that is healthier and cleaner without compromising on taste.
“Founded in 2019, Ritual Zero Proof is the world’s first and only all-natural spirit alternative, with the taste, feel and experience of gin, whiskey, tequila and rum, but without the alcohol or calories,” said David Crooch, Co-Founder of Ritual Beverage Company. In a brief interview, he told us more about the company’s story of innovation and how it took time for Ritual to perfect what it offers today. He also talked about Ritual’s brand new product – Ritual Rum Alternative. Read on to know more. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Q. What challenges did you face while developing your products? How did you overcome them?
Ritual is all-natural, made from a complex blend of botanical distillates and extracts. The recipes took hundreds of iterations and more than a year-and-a-half of active development to get right. Most exciting—and crucial—is the heat system, which gives Ritual a burn similar to alcohol—so you feel like you are having a drink.
Q. How do you manage your inventory?
We use a cloud based inventory and order management system combined with monthly physical counts and quarterly audits.
Q. What factors affect the pricing of your products?
We have purposefully priced our products to be one of the few NA spirits under $30. We believe if you can buy a nice bottle of whiskey for under $30 then you should be able to buy a non-alcoholic alternative for the same.
Q. What are the key ingredients in your formulation that makes it what it is?
Our goal was always to make our product all-natural, but we couldn’t crack the preservative. We want you to be able to open a bottle, close it, put it in your liquor cabinet, and enjoy it for months. There was no solution that allowed that. So, we rolled up our sleeves and went to work. Some efforts could not stand up to testing. Others could, but compromised the taste, or needed refrigeration. Nope. Natural preservatives became the white whale of our ingredient label. But hundreds of iterations later, we are proud to be the world’s first and only all-natural spirit alternative.
Q. Tell us about one of your favorite recipes made from your alternatives?
Ritual not only shines in zero-proof drinks but also makes terrific low ABV cocktails. A favorite of mine is a low ABV Manhattan. If you are interested in making this a truly zero-proof cocktail, substitute an ounce of unsweetened red grape juice for the sweet vermouth and bump up the bitters until you get the taste just right.
Q. How do you market your services?
We primarily market our products where our audience lives, online. We take a view from the cloud instead of the corner. As the category leaders, we take great care with our marketing to not just build this amazing brand but the category as a whole.
Q. Do you have any new products ready to be launched?
We do! While we were in the lab crafting the world’s cleanest spirit alternative, we added a new member to the family. We are thrilled to officially introduce – Ritual Rum Alternative.
Rum is the perfect partner to a day of fun in the sun. But festive tropical beverages can take a lot out of you. That’s why we created Ritual Rum Alternative. Because we love rum and everything that goes with it. Citrus and swizzle straws. Long walks on the beach. Summer in winter and summer in – summer. But we also love balance. A non-alcoholic daiquiri, mai tai or punch is the perfect third drink to keep the party going, and keep your sea legs. It is the cruise without the booze. The navy without the grog. The hurricane without the aftermath. And it just might be our best spirit alternative to date.
Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers?
We will continue to lead this category. We stand by our spirits. That’s why they’re all-natural, non-GMO, gluten free, peanut and tree nut free, and backed up by a money back guarantee. We stand by our environmental impact. That’s why our caps are made of sugarcane, our packaging is 60% recycled material, and our supply chain is optimized for minimal waste. We stand by our community. That’s why we’re key supporters of health initiatives with Spartan, Hyatt and Sober Voices. We believe in running a conscious business as much as we believe in conscious personal consumption, and we operate with an emphasis on integrity every single day.
The Leader Upfront
David Crooch, CEO
He is the CEO & Co-Founder of Ritual Beverage Company, a fast-growing startup whose products aim to meet consumers’ growing demand for alternatives to alcoholic beverages. David is also the Founder & CEO of Parks & Nash, who produces flavorful and gluten free instant bone broth soups packed with collagen, protein and vegetables. For the past twenty years, David’s interest and knowledge in health, wellness, and nutrition paired with his passion for building and scaling businesses has allowed him to successfully start up and lead businesses in the intersection of nutrition, health and innovation.