Here’s the Buzz About Two DFW Non‑Alcoholic Beverage Brand Launches

CURLS Founder and CEO Mahisha Dellinger has made a move from haircare products to the $13 billion non-alcoholic beverage category with newly launched and Frisco-based Huzzy Smart Sips. And in Dallas, Starla Wines has launched Starla Sips—"cute" two-bottle mini packs of its ultra-premium alcohol-removed wine.

The buzz stops here—but something big may be starting thanks to two newly non-alcohol beverage launches from North Texas-based startups.

The timing seems right, since recent data cited by Dallas-based Starla Wines shows the global non-alcoholic beverage category to be a $13 billion market with growth rates ranging from 6% to 10% annually—with over 50% of millennials and Gen Z stating they have or would try an alcohol alternative beverage. 

Now, about those launches: Earlier this month on International Women’s Day, Mahisha Dellinger—founder and CEO of the eco-conscious haircare company CURLS—launched Frisco-based Huzzy Smart Sips, a premium range of non-alcoholic beverages promising “the buzz without the fuzz.”

Mahisha Dellinger, founder of Huzzy Smart Sips [Photo: Huzzy Smart Sips]

Aiming to appeal to “the modern woman’s preference for sophisticated, health-conscious alternatives,” the line’s unique flavors include Berry Banger Margarita, Spill The Tea-Long Island, Pow Wow Moscow, Golden Elixir Whiskey Fixer, Honey Pop Lemon Drop, and Siesta Sipper Sangria. 

Huzzy Smart Sips are made from organic teas, ‘lion’s mane extract’ and more

Huzzy Smart Sips are said to be “carefully crafted from natural ingredients celebrated for their health benefits, blending organic teas, fruit extracts, antioxidants, adaptogens, and nootropics like passion flower & lion’s mane extract.”One ingredient the brand made sure was not in its Sips was ashwagandha, “due to its harmful effects on the liver and gut.”

Huzzy Smart Sips are vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, low carb, low calorie, zero refined sugar, and caffeine-free. And while they’re non-alcoholic, they are “ingeniously designed to still offer a buzz thanks to adaptogens and nootropics, ensuring consumers can enjoy the lively essence of traditional cocktails without the risk of a hangover,” the brand says.

‘A guilt-free alternative’ with ‘a meaningful impact on the community’

“Our debut on such a significant day underscores our dedication to uplifting women and supporting their mental health,” Dellinger, the brand’s founder, said in a statement. ” Huzzy Smart Sips embodies a lifestyle choice that prioritizes health, wellness, joy, and social responsibility. It’s our mission to provide a celebratory experience that aligns with sober living, offering a guilt-free alternative to alcohol while making a meaningful impact on the community, all within an accessible price range.”

Launch came after ‘years of working through burnout’

“I launched Huzzy Smart Sips after years of working through burnout, I’d developed a drinking problem,” Dellinger told Forbes in a January profile. “It was a lot on me all the time, and it got really bad.”

Her brand isn’t intended to dissuade people from drinking alcoholic beverages, the founder says, but to give them an alternative for whenever they need it.

“It’s all about empowering people, particularly women to be the best version of themselves in the ways that makes most sense to them,” she told Forbes. “It’s even in the name.”

Huzzy Smart Sips is launching with social responsibility in mind, and is supporting the Sad Girls Club, a leading mental health organization, with the aim of providing 1,000 Huzzies with access to mental health support this year, alongside a pledge to donate 1% of all Huzzy purchases “to support the organization’s vital work.”

Huzzy Smart Sips are currently available for purchase exclusively online at $5.99 for singles, with case packs of 4 priced at $19.99.

Starla Wines launches mini Starla Sips

[Photo: Starla Wines]

Meanwhile, wine lovers who prefer to play it straight can have their favorite drink and sobriety too, thanks to a new line from Dallas-based Starla Wines, an ultra-premium alcohol-removed wine brand that launched in 2021.

Starla Wines announced a new offering last week: Starla Sips—a new “mini format” that delivers “the same delicious non-alcoholic wine as the full-size original, but in 2-pack pairings featuring individual size glass bottles so you can enjoy a glass anytime or anywhere.”

Rolling out nationwide this month, Starla Sips features premium non-alcoholic, California wine blended with “the finest quality botanicals and aromatics.” Starla California Red is “a full bodied and sumptuous wine whose profile of sweet dark cherry, blackberry, bergamot, and black pepper kissed with a bouquet of lavender,” the company said.

“As a lifelong lover of great wines, I knew when I decided to reduce my alcohol intake, I needed to find an alternative, only there was nothing in the market that met my needs,” Starla Co-Founder and CEO Dawn Maire said in a statement. “This is why I decided to create Starla wines, a non-alcoholic wine made by women for women, with all the taste, sophistication and deliciousness I was seeking, without the alcohol, calories, carbohydrates, or sugar…a ZERO guilt alternative I could drink anytime, anywhere.”

Starla founders Dawn Maire and Jamie Coulter [Video still: Starla Wines]

“The response to Starla has been incredibly positive; however, as we listened and learned from our customers, we realized we could do even better,” Maire added, which led to the launch of the company’s mini-format Starla Sips “and a price point that will enable everyone to add Starla to your everyday moments.”

Passing on cans for ‘mini glass bottles’ so women can ‘sip cute’

“We designed Starla Sips  as a thoughtful extension of our beloved brand,” said Jamie Coulter, co-founder and chief creative officer at Starla Wines. “We started by passing on ordinary cans and opting for chic mini glass bottles. Leaning into the feminine, we continue to take cues from both beauty and luxury fashion—our darling 2-pack Starla Sips provides the experience to share and socialize on-the-go served in adorable, lux, mini glass bottles. Our tagline, ‘Sip Cute,’ speaks to the new, cute Starla Sips bottles and the desire for our customers to always look and feel their best.”

Targeting customers who don’t want or need a full bottle

[Photo: Starla Wines]

Starla Chief Strategy officer Debbie Novograd says the company serves “non-drinkers, wine lovers and everyone in between,” which includes customers who aren’t always in the market for full bottles.

“Our non-drinking Gen Z and Millennial customers enjoy experimenting with NA options,” Novograd said. “As we’ve come to better understand the needs of our customers, we learned they often consume and want less than traditional 750ml bottle of wine.”

Starla Wines says that women account for 80% of non-alcoholic wine sales—which makes the launch of Starla Sips during Women’s History Month make sweet, buzz-free sense.

Spinning technology removes alcohol while preserving flavor and body

Starla Wines’ Dawn Maire and Jaime Coulter are two friends who wanted to enjoy the social and culinary benefits of wine without alcohol’s effects. The two Dallas-area natives were inspired by their own shifts toward a mostly sober lifestyle as alcohol sales and binge consumption surged during the pandemic. Options do exist, but the ones they tried were “terrible, terrible, terrible,” Maire told D Magazine. That kicked off a journey involved sourcing grapes from California and using a spinning technology that removes alcohol while preserving the wine’s flavor and body.

We’re making real wine, just removing the alcohol,” Maire has said.

The Starla label started with options like Sauvignon Blanc and Sparkling Rosé and an aim to be inclusive of women’s lifestyles in its branding.

Starla Sips are available at Target,, and specialty retailers nationwide.

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