January 03, 2023

From sales and marketing pros to a development chef, co-founder of a booze-free beverage company and more, Canadian Grocer’s 2022 Generation Next award winners are an ambitious, passionate bunch.

Find out more about this year’s cohort below.

As the co-founder of non-alcoholic craft beer brand Libra, Deborah Coleman loves changing people’s perceptions about non-alcoholic beverages.

“Until the last few years, there haven't been many choices for Canadians,” she says. “At Libra, we’ve created a lineup of great tasting non-alcoholic beverages so people can fully participate in social occasions – without the alcohol.”

Launched at the end of 2020, Libra recently crossed $1 million in sales over a 12-month period. The brand is now available in more than 1,000 stores including 60-plus Sobeys banners in Atlantic Canada.

Her marketing tactics are a big part of the brand’s success. This summer, Coleman secured Libra as the first non-alcoholic beer sponsor of the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa. The attention this generated led to all three Costco stores in Ottawa to carry it for “Dry January.” Libra will also be launching at Costco stores across Atlantic Canada in 2023.

Coleman was previously part of Skinfix, another challenger brand based in her native East Coast. “There are a lot of growing CPG companies here,” she says, “and the fact they’re holding up against national brands is so exciting.”

Read the full article here.

Source: Canadian Grocer, by David Brown, Chris Daniels, Danny Kucharsky and Rosalind Stefanac