Designing The Best Drink for Your Canned Cocktail Brand

Read Time: 5 min.

So you want to make your own liquor label and you’re interested in joining the canned cocktail industry. It’s a smart move. Ready-to-drink canned cocktails saw 43% growth in 2020 and continue to gain traction, especially in the U.S. market, which tends to be a bellwether for emerging alcohol trends.

There are countless elements that go into creating a high-quality canned cocktail and then successfully selling it to your ideal consumers. We’ll explore a few of them below.

Research Your Market

When you’re building a brand, it’s crucial that you and your selected team have some experience in the industry. This helps you get the lay of the land before entering the market. Thoroughly researching your target market upfront sets you up for the greatest chance of success.

When it comes to the canned cocktail market, your beverage concept should meet the needs of your customer. Consumers in this category are generally looking for either a low-calorie, lower-ABV drink or a higher proof cocktail on-demand, without stepping foot in a bar. Understanding whether your consumer is focused on a “healthier” alcohol or a bolder drink experience will make all the difference.

Select a Base

Ready-to-drink cocktails have four different alcohol bases to choose from, each bringing its own flavor, color, ABV, cost, and caloric content. A sugar brew is fermented from cane, beet, or corn sugars. It’s colorless, gluten-free, and has a neutral flavor, so it’s ideal for healthier options, though it can rack up the calories due to its sugar and carbohydrate content. A malt base is made from fermented, partially germinated grains and can also be higher in caloric content due to its sugars and carbs.

Different Types Of Tequila And How To Drink Them

So you want to learn how to fully appreciate the different types of tequila — or simply just to recognize them! Don’t worry, our guide below has you covered on the various types of tequila and what to look for as you’re sipping.

Choosing a wine base might end up costing you more than sugar or malt, due to taxes. This type of base is made from fermented fruits, most often grapes. If you choose this base, you can specifically tailor your beverage to wine-drinking audiences. Finally, a spirit base is produced by distilling sugars, grains, fruits, or botanicals. This is the base most often chosen for higher ABV products, using tequila, vodka, gin, whiskey, or rum. This type of base will pack the most punch and deliver a bar-like experience for your consumer. Keep in mind that different bases will require different taxes and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels.

When choosing your product’s unique flavor, remember that a combination of novel and familiar tends to work well in the canned cocktail market. Consumers enjoy exotic flavor pairings, but ultimately they’re not looking for something that’s too foreign to their taste buds.

Choose Your Packaging

The canned cocktail industry is currently facing high aluminum tariffs, supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19, and an ever-rising demand. So while cans may be your most obvious choice, they may not be the most readily available or cost-effective. It’s worth looking into using glass or pouches instead.

The most important thing is that your chosen container can guarantee the product’s quality and give it a reasonable shelf life. Consider factors like whether any of your ingredients might stick to the container or whether your packaging is compatible with your chosen pasteurization method. If you choose to add chemical preservatives, a combination of sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate is the most effective option for canned cocktails.

Partner With Aceves Spirits

Finally, remember that who you choose to do business with along the way will greatly impact the outcome of your brand. If you want to make your own liquor label, choosing an integrated beverage developer like Aceves Spirits will help you not only with product creation but also with decision-making along the way. Our experts bring generations of experience in alcoholic beverage development. Tell us more about how you want to design your drink!