Bemuse, a new premium beverage brand inspired by nature and made with natural ingredients using natural processes, has launched an investment round to help deliver ambitious growth plans. The UK company, established in 2021 to promote ‘inspired conscious drinking,’ is on target to generate over £100K in revenue this financial year and is forecasting sales to grow to £250K in 2023.
Bemuse has revitalised the ancient beverage mead and transformed it into a refreshing non-alcoholic, low-calorie offering. Available in four flavours, based on traditional recipes and fermented with only natural and locally sourced ingredients, Bemuse is brewed, crafted, canned and packaged in the UK. While a sweet honey taste sits at its core, Bemuse is a dry beverage which can be paired with food, enjoyed on its own or as a mixer.
The brand has established a loyal UK customer base in its first year securing listings within some notable high profile venues including Franco’s, Bokiri in Peckham Rye, and The Laboratory Spa & Health Club in London. It’s also available on multiple online sites including wisebartender.co.uk, sippersdrinks.com, and zerozilchzip.co.uk.
With Bemuse set to launch a new 750ml bottled version of its product, it has now secured a new distribution deal in The Netherlands. Its first trade deal outside the UK, this new agreement creates additional channels for the brand within restaurants and retailers across Holland.
Bemuse has also picked up a raft of industry accolades for its products, including one gold and three silver medals in the 2022 Drinks Business Global Masters Spring Tasting Awards. The company was also a finalist at last year’s Food & Drink Federation Awards in the Brand Launch of the Year category. In November, Bemuse co-founder Anna Chalov was named in the Top 10 of the Daily Telegraph’s ‘100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch’ listing.
London-based Anna, a former investment banker who supported a number of start-up businesses in her previous role, founded the business with Nataliya Peretrutova, an experienced marketing and innovation professional with more than 20 years of working in both in-house and in agency roles. Their product range sits within the no-lo drinks market which has a current estimated value of £94m and is forecast to grow a further 34% by 2024.
With a strong commitment to sustainability, Bemuse has teamed up with Biomimicry UK, an organisation committed to a regenerative future, to promote public awareness about the importance of plants and their pollinators to the environment. Passionate about safeguarding bee populations, Bemuse sponsors beehives in Wales and has been active in distributing bee bombs, handmade wildflower seedballs which help the species thrive. The company is also in the process of qualifying for B CORP accreditation, which it expects to secure later this year.
Bemuse is now crowd-funding, aiming to raise a minimum of £250k which it will use to scale up its business. The company will use the funds to bolster its London team with plans to initially recruit a sales manager and production manager. It will also channel further investment into sales and marketing activity to support wider UK and global distribution of its brand.
Bemuse co-founder Anna Chalov said: “We have launched a new, innovative drink experience by reimagining mead, the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage, and creating a refreshing, non-alcoholic offering made from all natural ingredients and crafted to appeal to contemporary tastes.
“With Bemuse on target to generate over £100K sales in its first year, we are now seeking additional crowdfunding investment to scale up the business to grasp the opportunity that lies within the fast-growing no-lo market. While we have seen a lot of innovation from no-lo alcohol beer and spirits producers, Bemuse brings a new contender to the market as the first sparkling mead beverage offering a lower calorie, gluten-free and non-alcoholic option.”
Bemuse co-founder Nataliya Peretrutova said: “Having established a strong presence among UK consumers since launching Bemuse, we see huge global opportunities for the brand going forward as highlighted by our new distribution deal in The Netherlands. We are currently in advanced discussions in a number of other international markets which we hope to also bring to fruition in the near future.”