WESTBOROUGH – The zero-proof beverage market is one the U.S.’s fastest growing industries.
The increased interest in non-alcoholic products begs the question: Who is best positioned to sell the beverages? Where are consumers able to find wide varieties of zero-proof products?
It may seem ironic, but according to Ryan Maloney, the owner-operator of Julio’s Liquors, the answer is clear: The best place to shop for non-alcoholic products is the liquor store.
“It should be sold in the liquor store. We’re used to educating people about drinks; we’re going to make it accessible, rather than some dusty corner in the supermarket where it’s not going to get the love it deserves,” he said.
Julio’s Liquors started the new year with a new feature. When one walks through the front entrance, they are greeted by an expansive, well-lit area featuring the store’s 150-plus zero-proof products. The display puts all the nonalcoholic beverages in the same space, making it easy for customers to browse, compare and select different products.
“We used dry January as our launching point for an idea we wanted to put together, which is bringing all our non-alcoholic products together in one place to make shopping easy. This isn’t just for dry January — this is one of the fastest growing categories in beverage right now. We’re at the cutting edge,” Maloney told the Community Advocate.
Julio’s has a wide selection of zero-proof products, including items from name brands like Guinness, Samuel Adams and Blue Moon, and from emerging brands, including Partake Brewing, Athletic Brewing Co. and North Brewing. Maloney mentioned that the selection is currently “evolving,” and more options will soon be added.
The new non-alcoholic section does not take anything away from Julio’s wide variety of mixers. The store’s 100 linear feet of olives, margarita mixes, syrups, and other mixers remain unchanged. Maloney stressed that mixers “are for anyone to use,” including fans of zero-proof beverages who may shop throughout Julio’s to make mocktails.
The non-alcoholic section also includes several gourmet goods, including Stonewall Kitchen products, rubs, vats of fresh olive oil and 300-plus varieties of hot sauces.
“This is supposed to be about fun. Going to the liquor store is supposed to be about entertainment. This is an ancillary way to enjoy something that you may like, or maybe find something you didn’t know you liked. We’ll be educating people on [these beverages],” said Maloney. “This is a bright, enjoyable shopping experience.”
Julio’s has made itself an incredible destination for drinkers and non-drinkers alike.
Julio’s Liquors is located at 140 Boston Turnpike in Westborough. For more information, please visit https://juliosliquors.com/ or call (508) 366-1942. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
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