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Non-alcoholic drink sales boom during COVID-19 pandemic

A Fresh Sip is a company that sells alcohol-free drinks. Their mission: support people looking to make the switch.

AUSTIN, Texas — Sober October is a trend where people give up drinking alcohol for a full month. But non-alcoholic options can be hard to find sometimes.

An Austin-based company has decided to help change that. A Fresh Sip is a company that started only a couple of months ago, and co-founder Aishwarya Balaji is happy to be a part of it. 

"We launched about a year ago, and so it has been absolutely incredible to see the sober curious face grow, and we're excited to be a part of it," said Balaji.

Co-founder Payal Thaker said they wanted people to have options as finding alcohol-free drinks hasn't always been so easy. 

"We saw that there was a lack of access to a lot of the non-alcoholic beverages that were coming out, and there was a lack of awareness," said Thaker.

But why launch this site now? Well, the COVID-19 pandemic had something to do with it. 

"A lot of people started cutting out, cutting back on alcohol, and some people just gave it up altogether," said Thaker.

Thacker added that the non-alcoholic beverage industry saw a 30% jump in sales during the pandemic. Thaker and Balaji said it's all because a wide variety of people started turning to these drinks. 

"They're looking for things that have a variety of different options that are gluten-free, pregnant friendly, all of that," added Balaji. 

Thaker wants to remind people it's OK to not drink. With A Fresh Sip, they hope everyone feels included. 

"Not drinking should be just as normal as the choice to drink, and there's such a stigma around it," Thaker added.

With non-alcoholic wines, beers and mixers on the site, there's everything to make an easy switch. 

A quick reminder from Balaji: "You can still have fun and not drink."

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