Entrepreneurs Lungile and Anele, a husband-and-wife duo and 2 of South Africa’s homegrown entrepreneurs. shot the lights out when they fulfilled their dream to create the first 100% black-owned non-alcoholic beverage company in South Africa, delivering premium and sophisticated alcohol-free beverages for the discerning palate that are rooted in natural ingredients. 

With their culmination of years of experience in the FMCG and service industry, Iconic Citric Rose, the first edition, embodies the elements of uniqueness and boldness that will enthuse the beverage world, which is currently experiencing a non-alcoholic revolution.

Non-Alcoholic Spirit Market

Gaining momentum over the past couple of years, the interest in and consumption of non-alcoholic drinks is continuing to rise across the globe. Whatever the reason for this, be it driven by a desire to lead a healthier lifestyle, informed by a situation, or inspired by a taste for high-quality non-alcoholic drinks, there’s no question the movement is on the up and consumption habits of consumers (especially millennials) are changing rapidly and drastically. Consumers are becoming more health-conscious and mindful of their consumption habits.

As entrepreneurs, Lungile and Anele have always wanted to use their business as a tool for the good of the world, in some form or shape. Over the years, this thinking has been cemented by their exposure to sustainability principles and shared value. Creating sophisticated, non-alcoholic beverages that are rooted in sustainability, using high-quality natural ingredients to deliver a delicious taste that will rival its alcoholic counterparts, enables Iconic to be seen as an experiential spirit that consumers can interact with and create a variety of Iconic drinks that can be shared with friends and family.

“Being iconic is about making bold decisions that go against the grain. Icons stand apart from the crowd and take the road less traveled. Their choices make them Iconic. Our products are positioned to be an extension of our consumers’ unique lifestyles”, says Anele, CEO and Co-founder of Iconic.

Sugar-free with no artificial colourants and preservatives, Iconic citric rose offers a crisp and zesty citrus taste on the palate, coupled with juniper and pomegranate notes, and delivers an incredibly refreshing taste. A versatile spirit, the bottle is a tall “Empire-Haute” design that resembles the iconic Empire State Building in New York. The height and structure of the bottle are unique in the gin category, which is a testament to its Iconic nature. The label design draws inspiration from our bright and colourful African heritage with a contemporary take on African print.

Anele, having worked for some of the most prominent Retail &; FMCG companies in South Africa, namely, Edward Snell & Co. (Wine; Spirit Merchant), Spar Retail Group and British American Tobacco, is at present completing her master’s in marketing management; her dissertation topic focusing on the perceived value and purchase intention of sustainable luxury amongst millennials in South Africa. Lungile has recently completed a course in Sustainable Business Strategy through the Harvard Business School to gain more insight into how best to incorporate sustainable practices into day-to-day business processes.

Lungile entered the food and beverage industry in 2013, with his first venture being a corporate canteen, which grew to multiple blue-chip corporate clients over the years. After pursuing their respective careers and gaining deep knowledge and understanding of FMCG, food and the beverage industry, the couple joined forces and entered the restaurant space. After ten years, taking stock of how the business had evolved, their core strengths and most importantly, where the world was going, they were inspired to play to their strengths and draw from their experiences, and their vision for the future became clear.

“Be Mindful, Be Present, Be Iconic” serves as our guiding principle and our “tagline”, as we believe that being iconic is about making conscious and responsible decisions for oneself and those around us and being fully present in those iconic moments. It is important to make memories you can remember”, adds Anele.

Millennial consumers are trendsetters in their environment and are the most active in social settings. Iconic consumers are individuals who are not afraid to make a statement and are often considered the “leaders” in their pack. They enjoy trying new things and have embraced sustainability, as they are conscious about their purchase decisions, down to the type of drinks they consume, whether for health or other reasons.

These individuals are all about creating memorable experiences. As part of our long-term and broader audience, we will also target the younger and up-and-coming Generation Z. They are entering adulthood and are in the experimental stage regarding making “consumption” decisions.

The World Health Organisation stated that approximately 6% of global deaths were attributed to alcohol consumption. South Africa has been noted as the country worst affected by drunk driving in the world. Alcohol abuse in South Africa also erodes our economy in countless direct and indirect ways. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, it became abundantly clear that excessive alcohol consumption was a leading contributor to violent crimes in South Africa, including femicide.

“Be Mindful, Be Present, Be Iconic” …. Ask for it by name…

Keep an eye open for our future product lines.

About the Iconic Beverage Company

A 100% Black-owned beverage producer and creator of Iconic Citric Rose, the premium non-alcoholic spirit traces its roots to the Cape Winelands region, known for its world-class wines and ancient Cape Fold mountains – based in Cape Town, South Africa. Our mission is to create sophisticated non-alcoholic beverages for the discerning palate. Our drinks are rooted in natural and sustainably sourced ingredients with a focus on zero alcohol, zero sugar and zero calories.

We are all icons in some respect or another, bringing something unique and special into the world. Being iconic is about making bold decisions that go against the grain. Icons stand apart from the crowd and take the road less traveled. It is about allowing people to enjoy drinking whilst making conscious and responsible decisions. Our products are positioned to be an extension of our consumers’ unique lifestyles.

The product is available online and nationally through Norman Good Fellows. Our initial strategy was to target high-end, premium, on-consumption venues that resonate with the brand. Some venues onboarded Iconic Citric Rose include the prestigious Silo Hotel in CapeTown, Saxon Hotel, The Marriot and African Pride Hotels in Melrose Arch, Mandela Sanctuary, and Marble Restaurant Saints, Bilboa Camps Bay, Cavalli estate. Jozi Gin Bar, to name but a few.

Products of the Iconic Beverage Company are also positioned for the export market, with keen interest received from the UAE and UK since its launch.

In addition, we will be the first non-alcoholic spirit offered at the Bidvest Airport Lounges.

If you want to get in touch with The Iconic Beverage Company, email hello@drink-iconic.com.

For investment opportunities, email partner@drink-iconic.com or contact Lungile Sikakana at +27 73 461 7645

Online platforms include: zerodrinks.co.zadrinknil.co.za, makro.co.za, drink-iconic.com