Craft gingerbeer? Yes please!
When owner and MD of Natural Drinks Ian Nieuwoudt turned years of wine-making experience into perfecting non-alcoholic naturally carbonated drinks, he hoped for something truly special… and got it! After 7 years in business, the company has grown its footprint across the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo, North-West, Mpumalanga, and, more recently, KwaZulu-Natal. Listings with some of South Africa’s largest retailers, Checkers and SPAR and even Kaap Agri which allows for their incredibly delicious products to be accessible across South Africa, and even Namibia.
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“There is a much bigger appetite for healthier beverages produced locally and Natural Drinks is continuing a deep tradition of creating nostalgic moments for South Africans at an affordable price, one bottle at a time,”
says Ian. Knowing the business’s potential to grow into more regions, Ian’s brother, André Nieuwoudt, joined the company in 2020. “It is incredible to see how Natural Drinks’ fan base is growing organically without any marketing. Ian’s focus for the company has always been to produce truly South African products of high quality, realising that South Africans are more mindful and deliberate about health and nutrition – looking for more than just a thirst quencher,” says André.
Natural Drinks currently produce two flavours, ginger and pineapple, in three sizes: 500ml, 1L and 2L. This summer they plan to launch an exciting new flavour, which will be a game changer for the company to expand their offering. The traditional production methods used, produce beverages that South Africans have affectionately described as “the closest taste to what my grandmother used to make, it is now just easier to get hold of and enjoy all year round – guilt free
About GemmerKat Craft Gingerbeer
The company was started in October 2014 after a successful career in wine making. Learning about fermentation and sugar conversions came naturally for owner Ian Nieuwoudt, but with only a great ginger beer recipe, no working capital and little knowledge of the FMCG industry, the learning curve was quick, steep, and often expensive.
“Doing everything myself for the first three years and experiencing the exhilarating feeling of the re-orders from supportive clients helped me to learn about the trade very quickly and where to focus the business.” – Ian Nieuwoudt
Eventually the first employee was appointed to help with production as production had to increase due to the demand. The company celebrated 7 successful years in 2021 with more than 400 clients including listings with SA’s leading retailers across 7 provinces!
Our aim will always be to produce beverages to an exceedingly high standard but ensuring that it remains affordable. Our consumers demand the best in taste without having to pay for excessive marketing budgets – the popularity of the brands has grown organically across South Africa which allowed us to keep costs down.
Natural Drinks Company currently produce two lines: GemmerKat Ginger Beer and PorcuPine Pineapple Beer – available in 500ml, 1L and 2L bottles. Currently an exciting new lemonade flavour is in product development aimed to launch in the next 2 months.
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