The story of Malinda Distributors Inc., 1987

Importers and distributors of Loxton De-alcoholized (0.5%) Wines.

Our first desk was the kitchen table, where we composed a letter on an old typewriter and sent it out to some hundred wineries in search of a worthy de-alcoholized wine. We received hardly any responses. Not many wineries have the expertise to produce a de-alcoholized wine. However, we did receive three responses and we ordered samples. We were so excited when the samples arrived that we immediately gathered several friends for a tasting. There was no doubt which company produced the best product.   

We knew that without a good tasting de-alcoholized wine we would never succeed. The samples came from a company in Australia, Penfolds Wines, (who would have known, eh !) It was a fine tasting de-alcoholized wine, very drinkable, a light wine taste and bouquet and wine-like presentation. 

We were so convinced that we suggested to the winery that they should produce a line of de-alcoholized wines for us up here in Canada. We received our first products in June 1989. All the stores wanted to carry Loxton and we soon discovered how many people enjoyed our wines! But I have to say that it was a lot of hard work along the way. 

Not everything went smoothly. Back in 1988 de-alcoholized wine and beer were taxed in Canada by two separate government departments. Loxton was the only beverage in Canada that would be taxed as a wine and also taxed as a

juice. We would have to pay upwards of 36% duties and taxes on our de-alcoholized wines when our first order arrived! This was not rightand we had to do something. We began in 1988 to lobby the federal government to have the duties/taxes reduced before our first shipment arrived. Well, it worked, but only half way. The April 1989 budget reduced the duties on de-alcoholized beer but not on de-alcoholized wine. How can you reduce the duties on one and not the other we cried! We began to lobby five different federal government departments, for 16 months! Michael Wilson, finance minister, came to town for a Chamber of Commerce meeting and we decided to become members in order to meet him and present our case. Finally, in August 1990 the duties were adjusted on de-alcoholized wines. The minister in charge of excise taxes actually sent us a letter of thanks for all the effort gone into getting the duties reduced.

Our objective now was to build our brand so people would immediately know the product by hearing the name. Once we attained some decent distribution we started our five year promotion program with store demos, magazine, radio and TV advertising, participation in in-store promotion programs and participation in consumer and industry trade shows and even appearing on radio talk shows.