Oddbird is breaking ground with liberated products

29 October 2020

Meeting today’s conscious consumer’s rating health, transparency and environmental concerns highly, SCC member Oddbird is entering the alcohol liberated product market. The Link met with Moa Gürbüzer, CEO and Founder of Oddbird to learn more about what differentiates their products in the market and their vision to change social norms.

Moa Gürbüzer started her career in the 1980s, working as a social worker focusing on alcohol-related family issues. Moa wanted to make a difference for these families and children, but there didn’t seem to be an end or solution. Moa realised that to be able to make real change, it had to be on a structural level in society. In 2013, Moa founded Oddbird which produces alcohol liberated products. Today the company is the largest producer of wines liberated from alcohol in Scandinavia.

“With or without?”
“My idea to change the alcohol culture was, and is, quite simple. I want the question ‘Do you want your wine with or without alcohol?’ to be as common as ‘Do you want your coffee with or without milk?’,” Moa explains. With this question and approach, the aim was to start a movement and a new social behaviour related to alcohol consumption, but also to question the norms that exist today. Oddbird has taken a deliberate stand by calling its products “liberated from alcohol” instead of the often-used term “alcohol-free” to differ itself from products that contain, for example, grape juice. Even more importantly, this term also highlights that the products liberate the wines from all the problems that alcohol entails.

Taste and quality is of great importance
Moa explains that with its fine tastes and carefully chosen vineyards, Oddbird’s products attract a larger target than other alcohol-free producers – consumers that drink alcoholic wines for the craftsmanship and quality. “We work with winemakers that have respect for tradition, respect for nature and genuine values. The winemakers, together with our team of experts, create great wines which we mature for up to 12 months and then gently liberate from alcohol by using a unique method that preserves the wine’s natural flavours and aromas.” Moa points out that the drinking culture around the world is very excluding. The norm is to drink alcohol and the ones not drinking, are the abnormal ones who get excluded. “We have a drinking culture that excludes people. We need one that includes people.”

Customers today demand transparency in the production, for example, the environmental footprint a product, or company, leaves. “The food and beverage industry is undergoing a huge transformation as we speak. Customers want locally produced products with a conscious and respectful approach to nature.” Oddbird has worked to find both short term and long term solutions to the environmental issues in producing wine, such as the amount of water that is required. “Short term solutions will be carbon offset and alternative transport routes, while long term solutions will be transforming water usage and packaging,” Moa says.

Taking responsibility
In the near future, Oddbird will release their alcohol liberated gin, made with distilled juniper, berries and botanicals from Norrland and Lappland, hoping to contribute to society by creating export trade from the north of Sweden. Oddbird have just recently released a Prosecco. Moa is also active in donating to organisations focusing on women’s wellbeing. But most importantly she thinks her biggest impact comes from selling wine. “I always say that as many bottles we have sold, that’s how many people I want to ask the question, and I hope that many more will call themselves an ‘Oddbird’ and take responsibility,” Moa concludes.

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