The story of Malinda Distributors Inc., 1987

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

We were literally the first company to promote de-alcoholized wines through media advertising, at least in Canada. People heard the ads, purchased the wines and enjoyed what they tasted. Over time consumers grew to recognize the Loxton brand. However, promotions are expensive. I think because we might have lacked a little business savvy, being new to the business world, had a wide-eyed outlook, optimistic as hell, we may have spent a little recklessly on promotions. But sometimes having too much knowledge can slow progress. No doubt we would have kept our promo spending in line with our sales if we had more business and accounting experience. But what the hell, we thought promoting our products was more important. Sales would come - eventually.

At the time, in 1987/88, it was becoming socially unacceptable to drink and drive. Penalties for drinking and driving were becoming stiffer and who could risk losing their drivers license. Hard liquor sales were dropping and wine sales were levelling off. People were looking for possible alternative beverages.

It seemed like the timing was right for the success of our de-alcoholized wines in the marketplace. People were becoming more conscious about drinking and driving even though it seemed like the numbers of drinking and driving offences were increasing. The times were changing. No longer would one be intimidated at a party if you weren’t drinking alcohol.

We came to believe that the perfect retailer for de-alcoholized wines would be the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch. After all, it is a wine. It just has low alcohol content. The BCLDB was developing a social responsibility program and we thought the BCLDB should have a line of de-alcoholized wines to help support their new social responsibility programs and as well offer the shopper a one-stop shopping experience, and they agreed! The idea was for the shopper to pick up a de-alcoholized wine for their non-drinking guests, (drivers maybe?) while purchasing their regular liquor refreshments.  We met with the purchasing manager, made our presentation and then waited, following up a couple of times.  It took a while but in mid 1991 the BCLDB decided to list the Loxton Wines. This was a first for a provincial liquor jurisdiction in Canada.