Napa’s Troop Beverage Co. was started by the married team of CC and Reed and “amateur bartenders, expert canners, and San Francisco explorers”. They started Troop in 2019 because they had enjoined creating new cocktail recipes and sharing them with friends. And thus, started a business to justify their cocktail habit.
Our influencers received a combination of three cocktails: Vodka Lemonade, Tequila Paloma, and Rum Mojito. Each cocktail weighs in at 10% abv and is packaged in 200ml cans. Depending on the recipe, the ingredients consist of a spirit, freshly squeezed juice, and soda water. The influencer favorites varied but all appreciated the portability, freshness, and low alcohol — particularly while hiking and hanging outside. Here are some of the Instagram posts from the participants.
Who has taken a bottle of vodka and infused some type of fruit into the alcohol? I’ve done it with blueberries, figs, and blackberries but never achieved the success of Portland’s Wild Roots Spirits and their range of fruit-infused vodkas. Each of these spirits starts with six times filtered corn-based vodka infused with over a pound of real fruit farmed in the Willamette Valley. Grapes are not the only quality fruit grown in the largest river valley in Oregon. Recently Wild Roots entered the RTD market by creating a series of Vodka Sodas based on these infused vodkas. These 12-ounce sparkling craft cocktails are low in alcohol (4%), gluten-free, flavored with natural ingredients, contain only 2 grams of carbs, and have less than 100 calories.
Our influencers received a combination of four cocktails: Raspberry Vodka Soda, Lemon Vodka Soda, Peach Vodka Soda, and Blackberry Vodka Soda. Their favorites varied but all appreciated the portability, freshness, and low alcohol — particularly while hiking and hanging outside. Here are some of the Instagram posts from the participants.
We’ve learned from the highly successful Rendezvous: An In-depth Look at RTD Cocktails campaign that RTDs come in flavors, percent alcohol, and size. One brand that has stood out despite its diminutive size is Post Meridiem Spirits, a producer from Atlanta, Georgia. Their RTDs are intended to directly correlate to a craft cocktail so each can is 100ml in size and equates to a standard cocktail pour. In addition, these rugged – yet artistic cans – are encased in a steel wall, encouraging their portability for hikes, picnics, beach visits, and foreign travel. Post Meridiem also provides transparency regarding the ingredients – proudly displaying the cocktail recipe directly underneath the cocktail name. And finally, these are not low alcohol crushable RTDs, these are true cocktails with the alcohol content reflecting what would normally be expected in the targeted recipe.
Our influencers received a combination of four cocktails: The Modern Classic Cosmopolitan, The Double Old Fashioned, The Real Lime Juice Margarita, and The London Dry Southside. Their favorites varied but all appreciated the portability, transparency, and quality of each cocktail recipe. Here are some of the Instagram posts from the participants.
“It was really simple …… we thought, why can’t we flavour alcohol like MIO flavours water. And with that thought, the brand was born. “, Paul Wolchuk, founder of iiCiNG Flavour Shots
iiCiNG Flavour Shots allows consumers to become their own bartenders by moving the flavouring to the final stage of consumption instead of dictating which flavours are used in the production of the RTD or hard seltzer. Wolchuk’s previous experience was co-packing for the beer industry and one of the consistent issues he noticed was that co-packing flavoured beer was constantly on hold for flavour profile issues. Then he thought, let the brewers create the beer and he will create the flavours. And more importantly, they wanted to ensure that iiCiNG had zero calories, zero sugar, and all-natural flavours.
The flavoured alcohol market can be segmented into three categories (coolers, cocktails and hard sodas) and thus iiCiNG attempts to create flavours to fit into these buckets. The first three flavours were Root Beer, Pina Colada, and Raspberry Grapefruit which were then followed closely by Cherry Burst and Blueberry Bang. Kreamsicle and Limoncello are the final two flavours — although more are in the pipeline.
The entire premise of iiCiNG is to allow the consumer to control their flavour profile, not the bottler. You choose what to add it to, when, where and how much. According to Wolchuk, “it makes the drink experience as individual as you are.” He continues, ” all our flavours not only taste exactly like the flavour, but they look and smell like them. No BS, they do!”
We have devised several recipes that we will be trying and will be updating this post as we discover more ourselves and hear from the content creators. Cheers.
Bourbon Root Beer 2 oz bourbon 6 oz seltzer water, chilled iiCiNG Root Beer to taste
Lemoncello 2 ounces vodka 6 ounces chilled seltzer water iiCiNG Lemoncello to taste
Pina Colada 4 oz rum 1 oz pineapple juice 1 oz cream coconut flakes and pineapple chunks iiCiNG Pina Colada to taste
Coffee Cherry Smash (inspired by Cocktail Contessa) 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey ½ oz coffee rum or coffee liqueur iiCiNG Cherry Burst to taste
Sparkling Raspberry Grapefruit 6 oz sparkling wine iiCiNG Raspberry Grapefruit to taste
Raspberry Grapefruit Margarita 4 oz 100% agave tequila 2 oz grapefruit juice ½ oz lime juice iiCiNG Raspberry Grapefruit to taste
According to a new The State of the Industry Briefing from Distilled Spirits Council Of The United States (DISCUS), pre-mixed Cocktails — including spirits-based RTDs (Ready to Drink beverages) — are the fastest sectors of the U.S. spirits market in terms of both revenue and volume. For those in the industry, this is not surprising considering the low level where RTDs started plus the rapid acceptance by consumers. From 2020 to 2021, revenue increased 42.3% or $429 million from $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion and volume increased 55.9% or 13.1 million 9 liter cases. That being said, spirits-based RTDs comprise only eight percent of the overall RTD market. According to DISCUS, 62% of craft distillers are not producing spirits-based RTDs because of prohibitive and unfair taxes levied on their production. For instance, just in Arizona at 5% abv, spirits-based RTDs are taxed 18 times more than malt-based RTDs (1.5% versus 28.1%).
That being said, the spirits-based RTD market will continue to increase and thus BevFluence is launching the Rendezvous: An In-depth Look at RTD Cocktails campaign. BevFluence created the BevFluence Collaborations Campaign (BCC) to expand influencer engagement by leveraging the BevFluence community. We have devised and tested a proprietary methodology for accelerating social media distribution that we require our members to adhere to throughout the campaign. This methodology includes scheduling social media posts at the optimal time, sharing, and working with brand participants to engage within our platform.
For the Rendezvous: An In-depth Look at RTD Cocktails campaign, your ready-to-drink products will be presented to a combination of industry experts, mixologists, bartenders, creators, bloggers, writers, and other media. We curate only the most diverse palates and those who will be tough but fair. You will get to know these creators as part of our community through group tastings and one-on-one settings.
You can view more information about this, and other campaigns, on the BevFluence Collaborations platform. We have discounted the usual price for campaigns to $75 per entry and for each entry, the brands must send (6) -12 oz samples to each BevFluence Regional Office as well as (2) -12 oz samples to each Influencer we assign (five influencers). That equals 22 total – 12 oz samples and all of these requirements are outlined in the campaign’s guidelines once you login to the BevFluence Collaborations platform.
What is BevFluence? BevFluence, LLC (BevFluence) was founded in 2017 and is made up of active members of the food & beverage industry experts with decades of experience. This group of well-respected and highly sought-after professionals is dedicated to building and strengthening the professional food & beverage media community through education, collaboration, and expanding access for both brands and creators. Founded by media professionals to create the change for our clients that define the future. You get us all, for the cost of a single consultant in some other companies, a team dedicated to growing your business over the long term. Our Team is made of wine, whiskey, technology, marketing, social media, hospitality, culinary, and beverage industry experts.