It takes courage to decline an offer of an alcoholic drink at a social gathering because, often, nonalcoholic beverages are not good for your image.
However, Gladys Mawoneke, 46, says she has the solution. Her company sells Breva, a non-alcoholic beer in four flavours: apple, pineapple, peach and passion fruit. Rather than creating another run-of-the-mill beverage company, Gladys Mawoneke used a unique approach when starting up Breva Beverages.
Breva produces 100% alcohol- free craft malt beverages, which are infused with fruit flavours. The idea for creating these beverages came to Gladys when she realised that many people, like her, don’t drink alcohol – but lack a sophisticated, quality alternative.
So she decided to address the gap in the market. What sets Breva products apart is that they are not alcohol-free beers. Rather, they are craft beverages with an unfermented malt base.
Years of research went into her product development. When she couldn’t secure funding for a factory, Gladys didn’t give up. Instead, she approached Pick n Pay, which helped her get her products on shelves.  In 2012, Mawoneke submitted her idea for a sophisticated non-alcoholic drink to the Industrial Development Corporation. They liked the idea and gave her a grant of R650 000, which she used to do research and development for nearly three years.
She says the research definitely helped her to ascertain which flavours and packaging consumers preferred, and also made it easier to sell her product to retailers. The next step for her company is to increase its distribution footprint and to look at export opportunities. She also wants to expand into restaurants and hotels.
Breva can now be found in a variety of supermarkets, such as PnP, Checkers and Shoprite.
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