Watch Julie Cielo at the BevNET 2015 Semifinals
Ferm Fatale Launches Zero Sugar Probiotic Mocktail
Jan. 3, 2020
LOS ANGELES– Ferm Fatale, the world’s first zero sugar probiotic mocktail, is kicking off the New Year with the official launch of a line of shelf stable, raw, vegan, organic, probiotic non-alcoholic beverages. At only 22 calories and zero sugar per bottle, Ferm Fatale’s mocktails offer an alternative to typical beverages loaded with sugar and alcohol, giving consumers the freedom to enjoy a healthier choice while socializing.
Ferm Fatale’s probiotic mocktails are hand crafted Shrub-Bucha, a unique mixture of “Shrub” (vinegar-based fruit juice) and “Kombucha” (fermented caffeine-free black tea). Shrub-Bucha is the first shelf stable, yet raw, live, and organic, zero net sugar, probiotic non-alcoholic beverage, available in classic cocktail flavors. Designed to be enjoyed socially, these probiotic mocktail’s are filled with live bacteria, yeast, enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants that support and detoxify your liver instead of tax it.
After earning a degree in Natural Health Studies specializing in Digestive Wellness, founder Julie Cielo created these beverages with health in mind. She began her fermentation journey at a young age with her grandfather who immigrated to America from Italy. He taught her about fermentation canning and healthy cooking, inspiring the drink formulation of Julie’s beverages.
“After recovering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, I re-discovered a simple truth I had learned long ago from my grandfather,” explains Julie. “That truth is this: the gut is the source of health and good bacteria cures. I was tired of drinks filled with sugar and alcohol, so I created a gut-healthy, probiotic, non-alcoholic drink you can enjoy while socializing.”
Ferm Fatale rolled out its first two flavors, Margarita and Cosmopolitan during a soft-launch this past Halloween. With its official launch in the new year, Ferm Fatale is excited to release its two newest flavors: Nojito and Madame Mule. The Nojito is a spin on the classic Mojito cocktail with mint and lime, and the Madame Mule is an alternate take on the Moscow Mule with ginger and lime.
This female founded brand is more than just a healthy mocktail. Through its brand messaging and debut commercial, Ferm Fatale promotes a strong message about human equality and aims to shift the boundaries of what society sees as black or white. Ferm Fatale will also launch its podcast in 2020, advocating these views in addition to promoting a healthy gut and lifestyle.
Ferm Fatale is currently available online at fermfatale.com, at all five Erewhon Markets in Los Angeles, California and at Roosterfish bar in Venice Beach, California. Bottled in Portland, Oregon, and distributed in Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles, Ferm Fatale is expanding distribution to the Pacific Northwest in 2020. For more information on the full product portfolio, visit fermfatale.com.
About Ferm Fatale
Ferm Fatale mocktails are the worlds first shelf stable, zero sugar probiotic social beverage. The product line features four classic cocktail flavors: the Margarita, Cosmopolitan, Madame Mule and Nojito. Ferm Fatale’s mocktails are high in B vitamins, good bacteria, yeast and enzymes that support and detoxify the liver and support gut health. Bottled in Portland, Oregon and distributed in Portland and Los Angeles, these small-batch mocktails are meant to inspire consumers to live their best life, day or night. Life is meant to be celebrated… Live Clean, Drink Dirty with Ferm Fatale.
KGW: Thirsty Thursday: Ferm Fatale
Jan. 16, 2020
Dee-Lightful Finds on Living Local
Oct. 20, 2020
How Ferm Fatale’s Founder Julie Cielo Quite Literally Brought the Brand Back From the Dead
Oct. 28, 2020
Some predict trends, others use AI to foresee what’s ahead for the industry. For Julie Cielo, the Founder & CEO of Ferm Fatale, the world’s first zero net sugar probiotic mocktail in classic cocktail flavors, she takes a different approach. She’s not your typical beverage entrepreneur. She doesn’t come from the beverage industry and launched her first product at a later stage than her younger industry counterparts. Despite these differences, she remains one of the few female industry entrepreneurs to ‘rise from the dead,’ so to speak.
In fall 2014, Cielo was working as a seasoned massage therapist and yoga instructor in Los Angeles. It was during a ‘discovery process’ with some online marketing consultants that resulted in a flash of insight. After pitching the idea to a few former clients, Cielo received her first seed round within months and opened a commercial kitchen in downtown LA to create a line of fermented cocktail mixes — drinks that attracted the attention of BevNET’s New Beverage Showdown in Winter 2015.
At the time, Ferm Fatale was the only pre-market brand in the competition, but that didn’t stop Cielo from wetting the palate of industry experts with the idea that ‘social beverages’ were carving a unique niche in the market. Packaged in sleek 750 mL swing-top, hand-blown glass bottles imported from Italy, the five cocktail mixes had enough fermentable sugar for taste yet were under .05 grams. The sacred geometry and black branding was applauded by one of the younger judges as she spoke about her concept of the ‘convertible social beverage,’ suggesting these wildly fermented mixes could be enjoyed as a stand-alone drink or mixed with liquor. The premise was to ‘Live Clean & Drink Dirty,’ as she said.
There was more to this lifestyle brand than met the eye. Not only was she pushing the ‘functional’ probiotic benefit of her mixes, but also suggesting there was a whole community of ‘conscious’ consumers who were ready for non-alcoholic alternatives beyond club soda at the bar. Trends and industry results proved Cielo’s intuition correct.
A month following her debut on the BevNET stage, Cielo ran into a bigger problem than getting judges interested in the concept of ‘social beverages.’ She ran out of capital and was forced to liquidate the business. This resulted in personal bankruptcy and homelessness, not to mention a family tragedy that left her severely depressed.
But with great challenges arise great opportunities. For Cielo, she turned her experiences into lessons — ones that she could share with others. She became a life coach. By inspiring others, she was inspiring herself.
Overcoming both personal and professional tragedies, she revisited Ferm Fatale. She began introducing probiotic mocktail pop-up bars at events around Los Angeles. Following the success of these pop-up bars, she created her own unique event called ‘Trance & Tonics’ where she would hypnotize eager attendees using wireless headphones with a technique she learned as a yoga therapist. The practice enables one to dive into people’s unconscious mind and transform negative core beliefs. After attendees had their personal inward transformation, they would then be invited into a ‘High Vibe Happy Hour’ to enjoy drinks with or without alcohol. It was truly an event unlike anything the industry had seen.
In 2019, Cielo saw beverage trends move toward low sugar non-alcoholic drinks. Still, there remained an opening for the ‘social beverage’ concept with a RTD. Ambitiously, she secured her second seed round and decided to reformulate and repackage just one of the original mixes she created in 2015: the ‘Shrub-Bucha.’ She discovered a way to ferment the sugar from it, and incorporated the world’s sweetest fruit with zero calories found in the high mountains of Asia. She made the product shelf stable yet still raw, live, and certified organic. Not only did she manage to create four awesome flavors; Margarita, Madame Mule, Cosmopolitan, and Nojito at only 22 calories per bottle, she also created a custom 7 oz glass bottle. This helped modernize the nostalgic San Pellegrino Orangina, transforming these RTD mocktails into ‘the new modern Italian soda,’ a nod to Cielo’s Italian grandfather from Calabria, Italy. He not only taught her about fermentation processes while she was growing up in rural Pennsylvania, but he told her about the field workers in Italy back in the ‘olden days’ who would drink ‘vinegar-based drinks’ to cool off in the summer heat.
Ferm Fatale soft launched on Halloween in 2019 after initially emerging into the marketplace at Erewhon Market locations across Los Angeles. Described as ‘convertible social beverages’ to appeal to everyone, Cielo quickly learned one of the most important lessons in marketing: If you’re selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one.
After receiving helpful feedback from Ruby Warrington, the voice behind the term ‘sober curious,’ she revisited her description of Ferm Fatale. From ‘mixer’ to ‘probiotic cocktail,’ Cielo created a whole new beverage category.
Within five years, Cielo launched a brand, witnessed it die, and then relaunched it in 2020, while simultaneously birthing a new category of beverages. Perhaps what best speaks to her persistence and determination was her ability to secure a third round of funding at the height of a global pandemic.
Bottled up within Ferm Fatale, and perhaps its most potent ingredient, is a lesson to live with a clean heart and transform anger, hate, fear, and unforgiveness into power.
Article by Rebecca Fenton
VegWorld Magazine: World's 1st Probiotic Cocktail-Ferm Fatale
Nov. 6, 2020
This new kombucha company has made it possible to sip to your health with probiotic mocktails!
These non-alcoholic social beverages are raw, live, vegan, wildly fermented, loaded with good bacteria, yeast, enzymes, and acids to support healthy digestion, immune function, and radiant skin! At only 22 calories per bottle, Shrub-Bucha is zero net sugar so you get to look and feel great while you imbibe.
We personally love that there’s no alcohol in this booch! Makes drinking a bottle or two feel even better!
Available in 4 varieties, including Nojito, Margarita, Madame Mule and Cosmopolitan.
As seen on RSWLiving, CapeCoralLiving, Gulf&Main, Bonita & Estero and Times of the Islands Magazines: Wildly Fermented
Nov. 23, 2020
Mocktail lovers now can be both social and more healthful with Shrub-Bucha drinks from Ferm Fatale. In flavors such as Nojito, Margarita, Madame Mule and Cosmopolitan, these raw, live, vegan, wildly fermented beverages are loaded with good bacteria, yeast, enzymes and acids to support healthy digestion, immune function and radiant skin. Combining vinegar-based fruit juice with kombucha, Shrub-Bucha is only 22 calories per bottle, so you can splurge on dessert without blowing your diet. (Six-pack of seven-ounce bottles, $23.99)
BevNET Magazine November/December 2020
After celebrating the brand’s first birthday on Halloween, Ferm Fatale is gearing up to add a new 4-pack variety in addition to its Shrub-Bucha 6-packs. Each flavor of Shrub-Bucha will be available in one case: Cosmopolitan, Madame Mule, Margarita, and Nojito.
Some Mocktails Are Better Than Others
Three bright brands to inspire your best non-boozy drinking
Dec. 2, 2020
Yes, “mocktails” – but maybe only as a quicker way of saying festive adult beverages that don’t have any alcohol to them, because that’s what these are.
“Festive,” because these are just the sort of drinks you’d imbibe at a party.
“Adult,” because these aren’t the overly sweet sodas and juices one tends to find among the jejune small-fry whose drinking habits help to fuel multibillion-dollar sugar-water corporations.
And “beverages,” because – well, you know what “beverages” means; if you were stupid, you wouldn’t be reading this article. Especially because you’re smart enough to want, either as a rule or an occasional diversion, a festive adult beverage that doesn’t get you drunk or buzzed or anything other than joyful for such liquid-borne goodness in this fucked-up world. And, citizen, we’ve got three doozies to recommend to you:
1. FERM FATALE’S SHRUB-BUCHA
Maybe you’re not a student of beverage history, so we’ll remind you that a shrub is a cocktail or soft drink made by mixing a vinegared syrup with spirits, water, or carbonated water. And, if you live in Austin, you probably already know that kombucha is a fermented, lightly effervescent tea drink often consumed for its putative health benefits. Well, now. This Shrub-Bucha is a completely nonalcoholic combination of the two – a fermented, organic, probiotic beverage that comes in classic cocktail flavors. And while it may seem, what, a bit too vinegary, at first? For those of us accustomed to drinking nothing but White Russians or Pink Squirrels, say? If you enjoy shrubs or kombucha in general, though, these Ferm Fatale concoctions will kick your taste buds’ ass in a most pleasurable fashion. They’re created by a former medium and mortician who lives in California’s Venice Beach – no, seriously – and four flavors are available, so far: Nojito, Margarita, Madame Mule, and Cosmopolitan. Here’s to your health, is how we’d offer a toast with this brand – here’s to your more sophisticated health.
See Full Article by Wayne Alan Brenner
Female Disruptors: Julie Cielo On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry
Mar. 1, 2021
As health-conscious consumers seek refreshing, flavorful, and satisfying alternatives to traditional alcoholic beverages, no- and low-alcohol beers, spirits, and mocktails are gaining popularity, spurred by innovations in flavor, function, and variety.
Alcoholic beverages have played a starring role in social interactions since the beginning of human history, helping to cement friendships, celebrate life’s milestones, and launch longstanding customs and traditions. More recently, however, no- and low-alcohol (no-low) counterparts are making headway as a growing number of consumers embrace a more moderate, sober-conscious approach to consumption.
From beer and wine to spirits, seltzers, mocktails, and champagne, no-low beverages are rising in popularity, with recent research from Mintel indicating that one in five consumers has reduced alcohol consumption in an effort to make healthier beverage choices. Moreover, 55% of consumers who participated in a proprietary study conducted by flavor solutions manufacturer FONA reported drinking nonalcoholic beverages such as zero-proof cocktails and nonalcoholic seltzers at least two to three times a week.
“Globally, we are at the beginning of a paradigm shift in the role drinks play in people’s lives, with several bigger cultural forces at work,” Ben Branson, founder of distilled nonalcoholic spirits brand Seedlip, observes. “This means the timing and need for quality, adult nonalcoholic options has never been more relevant. I think people are also becoming increasingly mindful of their health (now more than ever), the origins of their food and drink, and the influence social-media-led lives have on consumption.”
Currently, no-low beer accounts for over 80% of the total global no-low beverage market and is expected to continue to lead the segment’s strong volume growth over the next few years, according to Sophia Shaw-Brown, senior insights manager at IWSR, a leading source of data and intelligence on the alcoholic beverage market. Shaw-Brown forecasts 15% growth for no-low beer in 2021, with more growth ahead through 2024.
Meanwhile, global no-low spirits consumption is expected to increase by over 70% by 2024, predicts Shaw-Brown. “Lots of startups are entering this space, identifying the significant opportunity which is being presented by the moderation trend as consumers increasingly seek premium alternatives to soft drinks and generic ‘mocktails.’ With powerful players in this segment, the spirits segment is expected to be one of the fastest-growing areas of low- and no-alcohol development,” she says.
Health-consciousness—already on the minds of consumers pre-COVID-19—is now trumping factors such as cost or peer influence when it comes to buying decisions, says Shaw-Brown. “IWSR research shows that for many legal drinking-age consumers under 40, a change in lifestyle due to COVID-19 has played a significant role in their increasing low- and no-alcohol consumption over the last year, while 40% of over-40s reported trying to be healthier as one of the driving factors behind their increased low- and no-alcohol intake,” she says.
Although the global market is still emerging, the outlook for the near future looks promising. Shaw-Brown expects to see over 35% growth in volume consumption by 2024, “driven by significant growth in key markets including the United States, Germany, and Spain. Major brand owners are turning their attention to the low- and no-alcohol space, creating increased category competition and visibility across most markets, in particular throughout Europe and North America,” she notes.
Interest in no-low ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages and beer is relatively low in the United States, with only 21% of U.S. adults who consumed alcohol in the three months prior to July 2020 choosing low ABV options, according to Mintel data. But consumption rose to 29% among U.S. adults aged 22–34 and 30% among those aged 35–44.
Jenny Zegler, associate director for Mintel Food & Drink, believes that the tendency for younger adults to be more likely to choose no-low options “suggests that the low-/no-alcohol segment has long-term potential because adults aged 22–44 are likely to continue their moderate alcohol consumption habits as they get older.”
Make Mine a Mocktail
Bartenders can attest to the growing popularity of mocktails, which have been a hit at restaurants and bars for several years among sober- conscious consumers. It’s no surprise, then, that the movement is hitting the ready-to-drink (RTD) market, which is enjoying some of the same innovation seen in the beer and spirits categories.
“Mocktails have been a thriving trend for years due to consumer interest in health and wellness and the growing ‘mindful drinking’ movement,” says Resh. “Nearly half (47%) of consumers under 35 agree that mocktails are just as good as cocktails, indicating opportunities for products such as RTD mocktails and zero-proof spirits, a small but fast-growing trend within the spirits market.”
“Creativity in the ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage is boundless, and it is seen within zero-proof cocktails as well,” agrees Olson, who cites consumers’ desires for “better-for-you as well as an upscale, craft experience or a simply delicious classic” as drivers. And with the advent of the pandemic, she says that consumers have been “unable to go to their favorite bar or restaurant and do not have the aspiration to make [mocktails] at home. They want convenience and they want it to deliver on taste/flavor.”
Distinctive taste and flavor are hallmarks of ISN’T Drinks’ nonalcoholic beverages, called Distinctivos. But make no mistake; Distinctivos are not mocktails. “We embrace the moniker zero-proof cocktails, but strongly dislike the term ‘mocktails,’” the company owners assert on their website. “We don’t intend to mock anything. Distinctivos are original, alternative cocktails, not knock-offs.”
Inspired by complex botanical blends found in alcoholic spirits, and focused on a full sensory experience encompassing texture, aroma, and color, ISN’T Drinks has launched three versions of Distinctivos: Absence, a distillation of angelica root, bergamot, and wormwood, mixing light bitterness with citrus and an accent of white grape; Rédessence, a floral-based mixture of roses, lavender, hibiscus, and elderflowers joined with ginger and spice and accented with rhubarb; and Mazy, a wine-inspired mixture incorporating pomegranate, black tea, gentian root, anise, and tart cherry.
By contrast, California-based Ferm Fatale positions itself as “the world’s first line of zero sugar, wildly fermented, raw, live, and organic ‘ready to drink’ mocktails in classic cocktail flavors.” The company prides itself on “raising the bar,” not only by leaving out the alcohol but by reducing sugar content and adding functionality in the form of B vitamins, good bacteria, yeast, and enzymes. The use of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients also contributes to founder Julie Cielo’s artisan approach and mission to position Ferm Fatale as a social revolution.
All of Ferm Fatale’s mocktails start with throwback lime “shrub” or vinegar-based fruit juice, which is mixed with kombucha and sweetened with monk fruit. Additions of cranberry, mint, and ginger juices complement the basic ingredients and differentiate the mocktail recipes. At zero net sugar, the line, which includes Shrub-Bucha Margarita, Shrub-Bucha Nojito, Shrub-Bucha Cosmopolitan, and Shrub-Bucha Madame Mule, provides probiotic benefits at only 22 calories per serving.
See Full Article by Margaret Malochleb
WholeFoods: Probiotic Mocktail Line
Mar. 9, 2021
Ferm Fatale has released a line of fermented probiotic mocktails: Shrub-Bucha. Packing high levels of B12 and trillions of live organisms and acids that support optimal digestion and immune function, Ferm Fatale comes in four classic cocktail flavors, the company says.
Earth Day Reminders with Ferm Fatale’s Julie Cielo
The theme for Earth Day 2021 is “Restore Our Earth,” an attitude and response that says “Humans should work harder to help restore Mother Earth to her former glory.”
According to a statement released on the Earth Day official website, “The theme is based on the emerging concept that rejects the idea that our only options to save the planet are to mitigate or adapt to the impacts of climate change and other environmental damage. Scientists, non-governmental organizations, business, and governments worldwide are now looking at natural system processes and emerging green technologies to restore the world’s ecosystems and forests, conserve and rebuild soils, improve farming practices, restore wildlife populations and rid the world’s oceans of plastics.”
Julie Cielo, founder of Ferm Fatale, the world’s first probiotic mocktail brand, couldn’t agree more with the Earth Day 2021 theme. As a former yoga therapist and transformational life coach, she understands all too well how deeply healing nature can be. But that power is slowly being stripped away by many societal daily practices.
This is why, for Earth Day 2021, Cielo would like to share a little reminder with everyone.
“Do your part. Everyday. You have a candy wrapper or a receipt you need to get rid of? Wait until you see a trash can. Or better yet, bring it home and segregate. If you can, be a plant parent. Conserve energy. Use reusable containers. Opt for brands that have adapted green practices. Donate to organizations that help fight climate change.”
“Most of us have this notion that our small, everyday choices do not make an impact. It’s time we realize that they in fact do. There’s roughly around 7.8 billion people in the world today. Imagine if each of us did our part to help protect and restore nature. You don’t have to be a billionaire who rallies people towards the green movement to make a difference. Just by consciously choosing to do the right thing, you are making the biggest difference you can.”
Ferm Fatale is a social revolution helping health conscious individuals feel included and rewarded for their smart choices while socializing. At the core of the brand is a mission to raise the bar by offering an all-natural, healthy alternative to typical sugar and calorie-filled social beverages; one that contains good bacteria, enzymes, yeast, and naturally occurring digestive acids. Regular consumption of Ferm Fatale’s delicious probiotic mocktails coupled with a healthy lifestyle shift is proven to provide a myriad of health benefits including alleviating symptoms of acne, acid reflux, brain fog, and hair loss, among many others.
During the brand’s founding, Cielo was very adamant in making sure that her brand is as green as possible, even going the extra mile by opting for reusable, recyclable glass bottles instead of the more inexpensive plastic ones.
Ferm Fatale is available at the following Erewhon Market branches: Calabasas, Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Silverlake, and Venice. You can also find it at the following Metropolitan Market branches: Kirkland, Magnolia, Mercer Island, Queen Anne, Sammamish, Sand Point, Tacoma, and West Seattle. Rainbow Acres in L.A. and Marigold in Marina Del Rey also carry the brand. To learn more about or make an online purchase of Ferm Fatale, visit https://www.fermfatale.com.
See Full Article by Heather DeSantis