Poring over industry data, it’s clear millennials and (drinking age) Gen Z’ers are imbibing less alcoholic beverages than their predecessors. While there are many factors at play, one of the main reasons given is the want of wellbeing — which is only amplified by time spent in lockdowns.
“We are more aware than ever how alcohol fuels a range of mental and physical health issues,” says Tyler Martin and Sophie Heatley of Yes You Can. “Being stuck at home, we naturally found ourselves drinking less and noticing a huge change in how we felt. We don’t want to give up how ‘clear’ we feel as we navigate what the world looks like moving forward.”
Taking matters into their own hands, the couple developed a beverage brand that challenged preconceptions of the non-alcoholic category — Yes You Can. Over months of refining its formula alongside world-class mixologists and food technologists, they created a multidimensional flavour profile that actually tastes and feels like classic alcoholic cocktails. Its proprietary ‘Flashback’ blend of all natural botanical extracts creates a burn at the back of the throat — without leading to those other kinds of ‘flashbacks’ after a night out drinking.
Yes You Can launched in September 2021 with three flavours to sip and savour — a zesty orange Spritz, a refreshing G&T, and a highball, but low- stakes, Dark & Stormy. While Covid restrictions affected hospitality sales at first, they had a successful soft launch online and were inundated with distributor requests for New Zealand and Australia (the latter is where they are currently based). Most immediately, they’re thrilled when they see someone holding one of their cans, or even seeing them squashed in a recycling pile on a morning walk around their Sydney suburb.
Martin, who was an Olympic Water Polo player before starting a sportswear brand, and Heatley, a New Zealander who worked at Google before pursuing postgraduate studies in Psychology, see themselves as being a small part of the cultural shift for those who wish to be sober, or even slightly more sensible. “A shift where mindful drinking and essentially mindful socialising is the new norm.”
The plan is to rapidly expand Yes You Can, including its global product range, distribution, talent, marketing and strategic investment. Cracking open the mindful drinking movement, while cultivating devoted followers?
Why yes, they can.