The ready-to-drink market segment is booming. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, sales of ready-to-drink products nationwide are expected to grow 42.3 percent in 2021, reaching a whopping $1.6 billion. And while this category is still undefined, 55% of these sales are in alcohol-based products. But another 45 percent is expanding, as products such as hard and canned wine increase their profile. Covid has definitely helped the market. According to Nielsen Holdings, an American information, data and marketing measurement company, sales of ready-to-eat wines alone will increase by 3,800% between 2017 and 2021. And many Marin County entrepreneurs are getting into the mix.
“The ready-to-drink explosion was definitely boosted by Covid,” says Sammy Hagar, who launched his ready-to-drink version of Beach Rum in Cans (sbbcco.com).
“People can’t go to bars and drink without a glass, which has led to fewer calls to the mixologist,” he adds. And you just needed something you could bring home and refrigerate, like beer, but with more exotic flavors.
Hagar says he can offer top-notch products at a lower cost because “it’s not what I do for a living.” His four flavors — Tangerine Dream, Island Pop, Pineapple Splash and Cherry Kola — cost less than $6 a can.
Marin has also started two women-owned canned wine companies: Maker Wine and Just Enough Wines (justenoughwines.com), founded by San Anselmo resident Caitlin Lowe, who won a water polo scholarship at then-Drake High School. , went to Stanford.
After a long day at work, it’s great to come home and have a glass of wine, but if you live alone, or your spouse doesn’t drink wine, or whatever, it’s hard to open a full bottle. You either drink too much of the wine, or you end up wasting that bottle because the wine doesn’t last more than three to five days in the bottle, depending on the type.
The former communications major — an intern on “Good Morning America” and “Nightline” — turned to entrepreneurship when he met his partner Jessica Hershfield at Stanford and realized “we didn’t like what we were doing.”
“The traditional bottle shape didn’t fit the way we live,” says Lu. “It was a really great one-and-a-half pint size, and it’s also a quality wine, the kind of wine you’d expect to get out of a bottle.”
A corked bottle has never been an ideal format for a perishable product, be it wine or beer. Corks themselves are permeable and the material itself is susceptible to microbial contamination. And what about the size? What other product comes almost exclusively in a 750ml bottle?
Just Enough wines launched in September 2020 and now has six varieties in its 250ml cans – Pinot Noir, Red Blend, Sparkling Rosé, Sparkling Brut, Chardonnay and Rosé Still.
Not to mention, Sir Francis Drake/Archie Williams Lida High School siblings Spencer and Wyatt Hanson launched Suntide Mimosas (drinksuntide.com) in the Midwest last year, and two of their flavors, a traditional mimosa and a blini, were recently released. has been Available in California.
Low believes that part of the main problem with canned ready-to-drink products, which have been around since the 1980s, has been the lower-quality ingredients used in their production.
“You go to any supermarket now and look down the aisle and there are all these manufacturers in cans,” Lowe says. It’s not just beer, it’s kombucha, blue-bottled coffees. Real quality beverage products are all leaning towards cans, not just for quality, but for sustainability.
Mill Valley’s St Hildie’s ( sthildies.com ) is another top offering.
“We like to think we’re into health-conscious food,” says founder Megan Droma. “People looking for alternative ingredients and looking at things like where are the ingredients coming from?”
Droma and his partners Christian Peck and Alexi Cashen founded St Hildie nearly a year ago for “people who actually read labels.”
“(St. Hilde) drinks like a cocktail,” says Droma. “All materials come from the earth. We include real fruit and a light boiling alcohol, and herbal tinctures, which are roots and herbs steeped in alcohol and added as concentrated versions of those ingredients.
Saint Hilde’s flavors include elderflower hibiscus, lemon turmeric and guava ginger, and it has no added sugar, but still contains 5% alcohol.
The ready-to-drink market is still relatively undefined. But consumers can rest assured that whether they’re looking for value, convenience, quality or health, and in many cases for all of them, there’s a ready-to-drink Marin County product for them.
“Why don’t we celebrate everything on weekdays?” “Why not celebrate today that you were able to fold your clothes and put them away?” he says.
Jeff Burkhart is the author of Twenty Years Behind Bars: The Psychic Adventures of a Real Bartender. I and II, host of the Barfly podcast on iTunes and an award-winning bartender at a local restaurant. Follow him at jeffburkhart.net and contact him at [email protected]