Drink Dry is the region’s first premium online nonalcoholic beverages marketplace.

With a growing thirst for zero-alcohol alternatives on the rise, Founder Erika Doyle talks about delivering an elevated experience and championing a conscious mindset.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

My mornings are a beautiful blend of serenity and chaos. With three young girls to get ready for school, it’s all hands on deck. I start my day a good hour ahead of everyone else in the household. I have discovered a passion for running in the last two years and so at least three times per week, I put my trainers on and I go on an hour-long run around the community. This is my me-time. The time after the kids wake up involves a whirlwind of breakfast prep, helping my daughters get dressed, and ensuring everyone is set for the day. Amidst the hustle, I make it a point to take a few moments for meditation or mindfulness practice. This practice allows me to ground myself and find a sense of calm, which is essential for tackling the day ahead.

Drink Dry is the GCC’s first online premium non-alcoholic beverages marketplace. What was the catalyst for launching this?

My journey with Drink Dry was driven by a passion for health and wellbeing. Almost four years ago, I recognised a significant gap in the market for high-quality, nonalcoholic beverage options. The inspiration to launch Drink Dry was rooted in my belief that people should have convenient access to these options and most importantly, they should have a choice to opt for 0.0% drinks when they wanted. Despite the skepticism and underestimation I faced as an entrepreneur in this sector, my determination only grew stronger. I was committed to proving the potential of this category and providing a platform for mindful choices in beverages.

Can you expand on how the brand has grown and do you think the timing of launching has aligned with an interest in this in terms of wellness?

The growth of the non-alcoholic drinks category globally has been remarkable, and I’m truly proud to have played a part in this movement here in the region. In return, Drink Dry has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception almost four years ago. The timing of Drink Dry’s launch couldn’t have been more opportune. We’ve observed a global shift toward wellness, moderation, and conscious consumption. People are increasingly seeking alternatives that align with their health and lifestyle choices. Our platform caters to this growing demand, offering a diverse range of non-alcoholic options that resonate with the increasing interest in wellness. In the first year of being operational, we successfully ventured into the wholesale distribution of our products and now our exclusive brands are available in over 350 venues and retail stores across the GCC. We are a team of 15 experienced professionals.

You champion a ‘sober curious’ mindset. How does it feel to be leading such a lifestyle and has your view of yourself changed?

Embracing and championing a ‘sober curious’ lifestyle has been transformative for me. It has deepened my awareness of both my physical and emotional wellbeing. Personally, it has reinforced my commitment to living in alignment with my values. Through Drink Dry, I aim to empower individuals to make conscious choices that enrich their wellbeing. Being a proponent of the sober curious mindset isn’t about deprivation; it’s about embracing a more fulfilling and holistic life. I see this role as a real privilege and take the responsibility seriously.

What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced to date and how did you overcome them?

Entrepreneurship presents its unique set of challenges and one of the most significant hurdles I faced was the initial underestimation by industry leaders. Being taken seriously as a woman with no previous business experience in this industry required unwavering self-belief and determination. I used the skepticism as motivation to prove the potential of the nonalcoholic drinks market. Additionally, navigating the logistics of an online marketplace in the GCC, with its unique dynamics, posed its own challenges. This called for adaptability, collaboration, and persistent problem-solving.

How do you constantly refine and innovate as a business?

Continuous refinement and innovation are integral to our strategy. We engage actively with our customers, gathering their feedback and insights to understand their evolving preferences. This, in turn, informs our product selection and the user experience on our platform. We also stay attuned to market trends, enabling us to introduce new and exciting options that align with our vision for a healthier and more mindful future. The 0.0% drinks category is forever changing and evolving, and we must do the same at Drink Dry to stay the leading force in the region.

“Refinement is an ongoing journey of self-improvement and personal growth”

This is The Refinement Issue – how have you refined your life/what is refinement to you?

To me, refinement is an ongoing journey of self-improvement and personal growth, whether we are talking about our personal lives or professional ones. It involves continuous learning and adapting to life’s evolving demands. Personally, it’s about striving for a more balanced existence, where I align my values and priorities. My journey has led to a deeper appreciation for wellness and a heightened awareness of the significance of balance in both my personal and professional life. I also have to be aware that my priorities change from time to time and have to be quick to adapt to that too.

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