One of the bigger beverage trends of 2021 is the explosive growth of ready to drink beverages (RTDs) — like Drnxmyth. According to DISCUS, the overall category increase 39.1%, or $137 million, for a total of $489 million in U.S. sales last year. As the pandemic persisted, more consumers reached for bar-quality drinks while remaining home.
Why? Premiumization has been a primary driver of this trend. Launched last year, Drnxmyth taps into the premium RTD movement with innovative packaging that separates the alcohol and fresh juices until the time of consumption. Twist the bottom of the bottle to mix the two halves, and you receive a fresh, bar-quality cocktail.
For a look into the rise of top-shelf RTDs, we recently spoke with Drnxmyth CEO Lawrence Cisneros and President Brandon Schwartz.
Beverage Wholesaler: Why have RTDs exploded?
Lawrence Cisneros: People had been going to bars and realizing that there are fundamentally better products available at the best bars that consumers have not been able to get at stores. Brands like us realized the opportunity: how the consumer palate and preferences have changed.
Brandon Schwartz: Now people are at home with a lot more time on their hands. They’re already used to a certain quality of food, so now they’re leveling up more with their drinks as well. And there’s more Direct To Consumer going on as well, with less reliance on retail and more convenience. It’s making a habit.
BW: How important now are all-natural ingredients in RTDs?
LC: It all ties into the all-natural, ‘better for you’ trend. For us, we wanted to highlight the fact that there’s fresh ingredients in our products. That’s the fundamental difference between us and our competitors. We’re a luxury-level product with the kind of freshness you would find in a cocktail ordered at a bar or restaurant. That’s why we built the bottle the way we did.
BW: Tell me about the bottle tech.
BS: ‘Fresh’ is the core tenant of our brand. So we had to figure out the right co-packing. We have that twist component. It opens up a neck and combines the two chambers inside the bottle. It’s important to keep liquor and the juice separate, because otherwise the product would suffer with the liquor and juice sitting together for even four days. It’s a popular bottle design in the juice world, too.
BW: We love that your labels link to bartenders who created the cocktails.
LC: We wanted to recreate the look and the feel of a live craft cocktail bar as much as we could. The diamond texture of the bottle is like a whiskey glass. The gold top is like so many bar fixtures. And we wanted it to feel like you were getting a drink from someone you could look up on Instagram. That gives the product authenticity and uniqueness. These are the professionals who designed the cocktail, using the same ingredients they use in their bar.
We filmed all of them making these cocktails, too. That connects even more with an actual person. These bartenders are not just great mixologists but also great content makers. They all know how to make a great drink and showcase it to the world.
BW: How will RTDs perform once the pandemic subsides and people can go out safely again?
BS: People will still want low-touch products — even on-premise.
LC: Yes, different hotel chains are already in touch with us. They like anything low-touch. Especially when it’s on-premise-adjacent, like a pool or golf course, with grab-and-go stations.