The power of finding your point of difference with Altina wines
Altina is a collection of Australian made, botanical, non-alcoholic wines. Co-founders Christina DeLay and Alan Tse combine the latest in green chemistry with high-quality ingredients for a sugar-free, plant-based tipple.
We caught up with Christina to learn about how they uncovered a gap in the emerging non-alcoholic beverage market.
Telstra Smarter Business interviews Christina DeLay
How did you decide to take the plunge into producing non-alcoholic wine?
Alan and I started Altina in 2018 when we decided to change our relationship with alcohol but found very few alternatives. I embarked on a journey to use my Bachelor of Chemical Biotechnology and my PhD in Plant Biology to create the unique taste profile of Altina.
Unlike other non-alcoholic wines that typically combine de-alcoholised wine and concentrated grape juice, we never add sugar to our formulations. Instead, we use natural ingredients and native Australian botanicals. My blending skills deliver a nuanced and layered drinking experience designed to build in complexity as you sip.
Did you conduct any market research before launching your product? If so, how? And what did you find?
When we started thinking about developing and launching a range of non-alcoholic drinks there were no reference points in the market. The best option at the time for an adult wanting to decrease their alcohol consumption was Lemon Lime and Bitters or a soda water with lime. There was nothing sophisticated and sugar-free.
After experimenting with different flavours and new production techniques we set up a crowd-funding campaign to raise the funds to produce our first batch and create a community of people who were interested in the idea within our local area of Canberra. The production of the first batch proved successful. The taste profile was well received and interest in the brand quickly grew.
You have a growing number of Instagram followers. What digital tools do you use to market your brand and boost your social media following?
We began by focussing on our community – we built our following organically in the early days by partnering with local businesses and events to help people discover us. We created a user-friendly website so we could start selling our products directly to our customers. Then, we started to build our social reach through social media advertising and investing in a range of digital marketing experiments.
Learn more about how to increase sales with social media.
How has building an eCommerce platform helped you to evolve your brand?
As our eCommerce offering has become more sophisticated, we’ve been able to offer our community innovative content and products – like our Zero Proof Festival in 2020 and a hybrid virtual/in-person series celebrating life with less alcohol. We also offer Australia’s first non-alcoholic subscription service.
Lessons you can learn from Altina’s brand story
- Work within the realm of what you know when developing new business ideas.
- Consider crowd-funding campaigns to help raise the funds you may need to develop new products.
- Focus on community to stay in touch with your future customers.
Launch your brand with a customer-friendly website to help introduce your business to the market.
This article does not necessarily reflect the views of Telstra or its staff.
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