This is how to start a ready-to-drink alcohol brand. The guide below can also be used for ready-to-drink non-alcoholic brands, such as CleanCo who sells non-alcoholic spirits and other brands that sell mocktails.
And while passion and hard work will certainly get you started, the eight checklist items below will help you check all the boxes to make a success of your brand.
8 Steps to Start a Ready-to-Drink Alcohol Brand
1. Develop a Unique Brand Identity
You need to create an identity that stands out and resonates with your target audience. Consider the look, feel, values and tone of voice for your brand and make sure it reflects what you offer.
2. Research the Market
Understand the competitive landscape, consumer trends and more before launching
3. Secure Funding
Before you can begin producing and marketing your ready-to-drink alcohol brand, you need to secure enough funding to get the project off the ground. Look for investors or consider applying for a bank loan or crowdfunding campaign.
4. Find Suppliers
You will need suppliers for the various spirits you’re considering selling. An easy way to do this is to use ImportYeti to discover who supplies local distributors and sellers with their core ingredients.
5. Develop Packaging
Consider all packaging elements such as design, label size, material, printing technique etc. You want your product to make a great first impression when it reaches consumers.
6. Promote Your Brand
You need to create a promotional strategy that will attract attention and interest. Consider digital marketing, media coverage, influencer campaigns, event sponsorship, etc.
7. Monitor Your Progress
Track your sales and performance data to stay updated on how your brand is doing in the market. This will enable you to make necessary adjustments as needed.
8. Get Licensing
You will need to acquire the necessary licenses or permits before launching a ready-to-drink alcohol business. Research the relevant laws and regulations in your area and make sure you’re compliant with all.
Below you’ll find some top resources and tips on how to start a ready-to-drink alcohol brand, and we answer some of the more common questions people also ask in this category.
How Are Products Like White Claw Manufactured?
White Claw and other ready-to-drink alcohol brands are manufactured by combining the spirits with fruit juice or soft drink mixers. The spirit is usually mixed in a large tank and then infused with flavorings or natural sweeteners to create a unique taste. The final product is then filtered, bottled, labeled, and packaged for distribution.
How do Beverage Copackers Work?
Beverage copackers are companies that specialize in bottling and packaging ready-to-drink beverages. They typically provide services such as canning, labeling, and filling the product into cans or bottles. Copackers also offer other services like pasteurization, blending, and adding preservatives to ensure safe shipping of the beverage.
How Does Independent Alcohol Distribution Work?
Independent alcohol distribution is the process of selling alcoholic beverages through independent distributors. This allows for more flexibility in pricing and product selection, as well as access to a wider range of markets. Independent distributors can help your ready-to-drink alcohol brand reach new customers and increase its distribution network.
What is a Minimum Order Quantity?
A minimum order quantity (MOQ) is the smallest amount of product you can buy from a supplier in one purchase. MOQs are important because they help ensure that suppliers are making enough profit to cover their costs and still offer competitive prices on the products. The MOQ for ready-to-drink alcohol brands varies depending on the type.
What is the Research and Development Process Like for a New Alcoholic Beverage?
The research and development process for a new alcoholic beverage includes creating the recipe, testing prototypes, improving upon ideas, and ensuring that the product meets all regulatory requirements. Additionally, market research must be done to identify trends in consumer preferences and other important information. Finally, you’ll need to determine pricing and create an effective marketing strategy.
How Do You Determine Shelf Life for Ready-to-Drink Products?
Shelf life is an important factor to consider when creating a ready-to-drink product. It is determined by testing samples of the beverage over time and measuring factors like flavor, color, and aroma. Additionally, ingredients like preservatives can be added to extend shelf life. The optimal shelf life for a ready-to-drink alcohol brand will vary depending on the type of product and its ingredients.
What Does it Cost to Develop a New Alcoholic Beverage?
The cost of developing a new alcoholic beverage depends on the complexity of the formula and the production process. Additionally, there may be costs associated with market research, hiring staff or consultants, packaging materials, regulatory compliance, advertising, and other overhead expenses. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from a few thousand thousand dollars to a hundred thousand dollars to bring a new alcohol beverage to market.
How Can I Protect My Ready-to-Drink Alcohol Brand?
Protecting your ready-to-drink alcohol brand involves taking steps to ensure that no one else is using the same name or making similar products. This includes registering your trademark, researching other brands in the marketplace, and taking action if necessary against any infringing products. Additionally, you should make sure that all of your packaging materials and labels are distinctive enough to stand out in the market. Finally, investing in marketing and advertising can help build awareness of your brand among potential customers.
What is a Distribution Center for Beverages?
A distribution center for beverages is a facility used to store and ship alcoholic products. These centers typically have large warehouses where the beverages are stored, as well as transportation fleets that can deliver the products anywhere in the country. Distribution centers provide an efficient way to get your ready-to-drink alcohol brand’s product into retail stores and other venues quickly.
Should I Package My Ready-to-Drink Alcoholic Beverage in a Can or a Glass Bottle?
The choice of packaging for your ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage will depend on several factors. In general, cans are more lightweight and cost effective than bottles, making them a better option for transporting large quantities of the product. However, bottles can provide a more premium look that customers may be attracted to. Ultimately, you should analyze different options based on your price point and target audience.
Where Can I Find Designers for My Alcohol Brand?
There are many talented designers available to help develop your alcohol brand. You can start by looking for experienced professionals in graphic design, branding, and marketing on websites like Freelancer and Upwork. Additionally, you may want to check with local colleges or universities to see if they have any students or alumni who specialize in this type of work. Finally, if you have a larger budget, you can contact agencies that specialize in developing alcohol brands.
What Are The Regulations for Producing a Ready-to-Drink Alcoholic Beverage?
The regulations for producing a ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage vary from country to country, but generally include obtaining licenses and permits, complying with labeling requirements, and adhering to age restrictions. Additionally, depending on the jurisdiction you are in, there may be additional regulations or requirements related to production methods, packaging materials, ingredients used, alcohol content limits, and more. It’s important to make sure you are familiar with all of the applicable regulations before producing your ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage.
Why Was White Claw So Successful?
White Claw’s success can be attributed to a number of factors. The brand was one of the first to introduce hard seltzer, a category that has grown exponentially in recent years. Additionally, their easy-to-drink beverages are made with natural ingredients and come in a variety of flavors, making them attractive to health-conscious consumers.
They have also aggressively marketed their products and engaged with their target audience on social media, giving them an edge over competitors. Finally, White Claw’s availability in both retail stores and online has made it easier for customers to purchase the product. These strategies have helped make White Claw the leader in the hard seltzer market.
Get marketing inspiration for your alcoholic brand. Watch my breakdown of the Absolut bottle ads that formed the advertising cornerstone for an incredibly long period of time here:
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