Snaxshot #07: Convenient Cocktails

they pack a punch!

A newsletter on upcoming food and beverage trends that offers a curation of brands and aesthetics written by Andrea Hernández.

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Boosting Spirits

Pre-pandemic most millennials would arrive home from their Instagrammable venues after spending a night at an actual bar with friends in boozy bliss, probably staring at a semi-empty bar cart because who makes cocktails anyways? Then Covid came along and with it began an endless drinking game, that so far, is being won by RTD spirits.

Leave it to the generation of instant gratification to revive a category that saw its decline before most of them were even born. RTDs are perfect for millennials who are very keen to cleaning up not only their pantries, but their bar carts as well, looking for lower-calorie drinks that are readily accessible, without additional fuss, and that offer the same Instagrammable vibe as a craft cocktail.

Resurgence of RTD 🍷

—Market size of US RTD spirit product in 2020 is of $4.9 billion.

—In 2020, alcohol sales online experienced triple digit growth! These numbers are the fastest-growing sector Nielsen measures in the alcohol space. 

—For alcohol delivery startup Drizly, new customers have doubled in 2020 and currently make up 33% of the company's total sales! The RTD segment has grown 416% in share of sales year-over-year.

—In the US alone, the RTD sector is expected to report volume growth of 21.8% CAGR from 2019-2024, stealing market share mainly from beer. (Beer sales have experienced steady decline for the past 5 years.)

—Data from IWSR shows that RTD sales volume increased 43.2 % in 2019, nearly tripling 2018’s 16.9 % growth.

—For the first time in 25 years sales of wine bottles declined, losing share to canned wine. In less than a decade, sales of wine in cans have jumped from just $2 million in 2012 to $183.6 million.

—Over the past 5 years, volume consumption of tequila in the US grew by more than 40%. In 2020, tequila saw biggest spike, up more than 75%, now fastest growing spirits segment in the U.S

—From summer 2019 to summer 2020, hard seltzer category saw $2.7 billion in sales as consumers decreased spending on beer and wine.  

—According to Nielsen at the beginning of 2018, just 10 hard seltzer brands were on the market, rising to 26 a year later and now more than 65 brands exist, half using a unique brand name, and the other half pivoting off an existing beer brand name.

—Global sales of canned cocktails are predicted to surpass $146 billion over the next 10 years .

—According to Euromonitor, sales of RTD cocktails in the U.K., are about 2.6 times greater than in the U.S.

Beverage Arms Race 🏎️ 😈

Onda: Sparkling tequila beverage line, their beverages are made with blanco tequila from a woman-owned distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. They offer a member-only, virtual vacation space called Onda Beach Club, where you can gain exclusive access to new products, merchandise, future product drops, and creative collaborations. They’ve recently raised $1.2 million from 25Madison and other investors.

Volley: Each can contains 100% blue weber agave spirit, sparkling water, and organic juice, they have recently expanded their distribution to Tennessee, Georgia, and New Jersey. A fan of their chrome look and their minimal and very crayon-like aesthetics.

Elenita: Canned mezcal cocktail, founders hail from California and Mexico. Each can contain 100% agave espadín, they come in two flavors, cucumber lime, and pineapple jalapeño. My favorite part of the can aesthetic is the sun with the uneven blocks that give it a very Aztec vibe. Elenita raised money on a convertible note with a $4.5 million cap.

Ranch Rider: Based in Austin, Texas, and co-founded by UT Austin alumni Brian Murphy and Quentin Cantu, their cocktails are made with reposado tequila from Jalisco, Mexico, and premium vodka sourced from the United States. They’ve got a very tight-knit brand and aesthetic and their visuals transport you to Texas country.

Phreshly: Inspired by his home in Ghana, founder Paul Miller brings specialty cocktails with flavors from minority-owned farms. They are going live with pre-orders soon and will ship in early Q2. They have one of the most unique flavor offerings I’ve seen, with the first SKUs being Bay Lemonade & G’iddem.

Vacay: Based in the UK, their offerings are vegan, gluten-free, and contain no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Their SKUs feature the typical millennial, DTC pastel aesthetics but with an artistic twist to match their array of cocktails.

Good Sunday: Canadian and millennial owned, their premium gin soda is low in alcohol, low in calories, and low in sugar. Crafted using a squeeze of grapefruit juice, carbonated water, and small-batch gin, Featured here because of their minimal design but also because I’m a sucker for grapefruit outside of Paloma-style drinks.

Punchy: UK based, this brand actually crowdfunded their way into cans. They focus on low abv and no-alc, each beverage is vegan, gluten-free, and made without preservatives or artificial sweeteners. Particularly love their minimal but colorful graphics against their white and black matte cans.

Ramona: Founded in 2016, their line of organic wine and wine spritzes was a pioneer in the RTD canned cocktail space, they’ve recently announced they now ship nationwide across the US. So far they’ve raised around $2.3 million in funding from undisclosed investors.

Bev: Founded in 2018, featured here because it’s female-founded, female-led in a male-dominated space, they’ve gone on to raise $7 million led by Peter Thiel. Their latest SKY is the sparkling white wine can that is a Kira Kira dream. (See above image)

Usual: Their unique RTD bottles are what makes them stand out, reminiscent of a high-end apothecary as well as their spritz can that features a glistening chrome-look paired with a white matte. Not only have they recently launched a limited, reserve Cabernet case just in time for the Holidays but also an insanely creative “12 Nights of Wine” gift box for a proper countdown.

Tip Top: A line of ready-to-drink and ready-to-pour cocktails focused on recreating classic familiar recipes. They’ve recently been named one of Garden & Gun “Made in the South” winners.

House of Negroni: Started as a social platform that is quickly pivoting into their own product line with the introduction of their uniquely canned Negroni in collaboration with BB Social Dining.

Party Can: To me, nothing screams more Americana than a SUPER-SIZED margarita can. This re-sealable can (a plus) contains 12 servings. This can aesthetics is literally screaming frat-culture meets spring break, you can’t help but love the genius behind it.

Veloce: Based in Los Angeles, it’s literally an espresso martini in a can that somewhat gives off vintage Pepsi vibes. I have to wonder when and why someone would opt for this particular drink, including it here just in case you have an answer for me.

The Morning After 😩


Spoonful of News 🥄

See you again next week, a different future, same place.

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