Erika Doyle on elevating Ramadan with premium non-alcoholic offerings

Abha Garyali Peer |

Drink Dry, the leading non-alcoholic drinks marketplace in the Middle East, curates the finest alcohol-free beverages globally, spearheading the 'No and Low Alcohol' (NOLO) movement. Based in Dubai, the brand is preparing to honor the significance of the upcoming Holy month of Ramadan. Adgully recently interviewed Erika Doyle, the Founder of Drink Dry, to explore their strategies and preparations for Ramadan. Here are the excerpts:

How are the brands in the Middle East tailoring their marketing strategies/campaigns to resonate with the cultural nuances and significance of Ramadan?

Drink Dry launched a very unique and successful Golden Month campaign last year for the month of Ramadan. Instead of trying to bring something new to Iftar meals we went after the traditions of Ramadan and Iftar meals and made our products fit the traditions, instead of creating something entirely new.

Can you discuss specific examples of how you are incorporating traditional elements of Ramadan into your exclusive collections or marketing campaigns?

Our most successful Ramadan drink last year was Natureo Vimto Fizz. We took the classic Vimto drink that people enjoy during Iftars and have created a mocktail with a twist – we paired it with one of our best sellers Natureo Muscat Sparkling Grape. It was a perfect combination of classic and new mixed together.

In what ways are brands leveraging social media influencers and digital platforms to connect with consumers during Ramadan, while maintaining authenticity and respect for the occasion?

I think for Western brands this is always the biggest challenge. The brands have to be incredibly aware of the cultural nuances and make sure the influencers they work with are unique themselves. Drink Dry is a luxury F&B brand, and last year we partnered with female Arab chefs and influencers who are known for hosting dinners and sharing content around the same. We wanted to make sure that we partner with people who focus on tradition and host throughout the year and not just for a month during Ramadan. It must feel natural for the consumer; it can’t be fake or pretentious.

What challenges do brands face in balancing commercial objectives with the need to honour the spiritual and cultural aspects of Ramadan, and how are they navigating these challenges?

For us, this is very simple: the month of Ramadan is a time to honour our Muslim clientele. We eagerly anticipate making their Holy Month even more beautiful than it already is, showing respect and appreciation for their year-round support. Rather than commercializing our Muslim clients during Ramadan, we focus on gifting and sharing throughout the month. We also collaborate with local brands that share our values.