Partake makes non-alcoholic beer part of adulthood

A new campaign is trying to build a stronger connection to having fun, while still being mindful of health and responsibilities.

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Partake Brewing is celebrating having your cake and eating it too or at least, your beer  showing how non-alcoholic suds help meet the demands of adulthood.

The beer brand’s creative focuses on life stages, including a young couple doing home renos, looking after a toddler and golfing on an early weekend morning with the line, “Who says you can’t be as pumped about Saturday morning as Friday night?”

Ted Fleming, founder and CEO of Partake Brewing, says the brand had deployed more rudimentary marketing previously, and signed on with Lg2 in the spring to take it to the next level as it also eyes further expansion, including in the U.S. This meant going beyond marketing around the nuts and bolt of health benefits and positioning the product around being fun, as the “official beer of adulting” and to change perceptions that it’s mainly for teetotalers or those with health issues.

As a non-alcoholic beverage category leader, Fleming says Partake is in a position where it can change the stigma around people who don’t drink on certain occasions. And it wants to do this in a way that is as inclusive and inviting as possible, making a connection between non-alcoholic beer and fun, and minus the “bro brand” culture common to many mainstream beer brands that try to make the same association.

Fleming, who founded Partake in 2017 after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, says the market for non-alcoholic beverages may have started with those like him, compelled by health professionals to stop drinking beer, but now it’s more of a “choose to be in” category. In fact, he says, the product demo is an even split between predominantly millennial men and women going through life changes, and being more health and wellness focused. Partake’s main differentiator is low calorie count, both compared with conventional, but also no-alcohol suds.

“We were also the first to market with a legitimate and great-tasting take on craft, non-alcoholic beer,” Fleming says, having solved the riddle of its manufacturing. Now, he says, Partake’s SKU lineup spans several popular brewing styles, including ones more associated with the craft category, like stouts and IPAs.

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“Cheers to Adulting” is being driven by digital and social media content that will run in a robust media buy across multiple platforms throughout North America.

Right now, Fleming says Partake is still a young brand, and that the digital space is great place to test and learn about how its messaging resonates. As COVID subsides, he says it’ll do more in-person marketing and OOH.

The timing of the campaign is to coincide with curiosity around “sober October,” as well as being in-market for post-New Year’s commitments to bettering one’s health. “It’s a way for people to get away from alcohol before the holiday season,” Fleming says, part of a movement toward moderation.

Partake Brewing has seen rapid expansion since it launched first in LCBO locations, then across all major liquor and grocery banners, with a three-year growth of 2,112%.

Praxis Digital and Praxis PR are supporting the campaign in Canada.