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My Interview with Skinny Booze Founder Tom Bell

If you know anything about how and why I created Minus 33, you’ll know that taste was the most prominent thought. The hundreds of hours spent in the ‘lab’, the countless number of different recipes, the constant back and forth with a panel of expert tasters, all with one purpose in mind – to bring to market an exceptional tasting spirit. 

The by-product of this process? Less calories. At 46 calories per serving, Minus 33 is noticeably lighter than most other spirits. Proud of this, it was only natural that we teamed up with Skinny Booze to stock Minus 33 -- the UK’s main destination for low calorie alcohol. To find out some more about Skinny Booze, and the low calorie sector in general, I decided to do a short Q&A with co-founder, Tom Bell, who I’ve known now for a number of years.

When did you first launch Skinny Booze? Where did the idea come from? 

Skinny Booze has been in existence for nearly 7 years. It’s crazy to think how far things have come! However, the initial idea stemmed from my rugby playing days. I found myself frustrated by training hard each week and then seemingly undoing all of that hard work as soon as we went to the pub after each game to celebrate (or commiserate). To break this cycle, I started to do some research into lower calorie alcohol and found that there weren’t any suppliers in the UK.

What have been some of the key challenges that you’ve faced?

Honestly? Decent enough products to stock. I was determined to find UK consumers lower calorie alcohol that still tasted great. Unfortunately, though, in those early days, I was really struggling to find wines that I felt customers would want to re-purchase. And, as for lager or beer, the manufacturers had often taken almost all of the alcohol content out in order to reduce the number of calories. This actually led me to launch Skinny Lager, which at 89 calories per bottle but still 4% ABV, has been a real gamechanger.

So, you feel as though the industry is starting to change with the times?

Yeah, definitely. But it’s being driven by consumer demand, rather than any regulatory change to ensure consumers are aware of the health implications of what they’re drinking and easily able to find better alternatives. Amazingly, a bottle of water – which has next to no calories – has nutritional labelling, but a bottle of beer – which can easily have over 200 calories, if you’re unlucky – has none. Thankfully, though, consumers are cottoning on to this and searching out better alternatives for themselves. You only have to look at the rise in search volume around ‘low calorie’ to see the demand.

That sounds like good news for Minus 33, then?

Absolutely. Both the low calorie and the premium spirit sector, more generally, have really exploded in popularity across recent years. Minus 33 is a favourite with a lot of our customers, and you certainly don’t need me to tell why (but I will!) – light in calories, no artificial flavours, no preservatives, no added sugar, gluten-free, vegan-friendly, plus the taste! It really is a pleasure to stock Minus 33. I think it’s fair to say all of your hard work has paid off, but I’m excited to see the continued growth of the brand, and we love what you’ve done recently with the introduction of Minus 33 Pink. 

Well, that’s very kind of you to say. We’re delighted to have you as one of our stockists and, for anyone reading this, please make sure to check out Skinny Booze and their full collection of lower calorie wines, beers, spirits and cocktails. Please also make sure to use ‘MINUS33’ as a discount code to receive a 10% off discount off of your order. Thanks for sharing that with me, Tom.

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