Trident Building the Next Generation of Spirit Brands

When considering which brands to support, today’s consumers are looking beyond form and function to choose brands that also align with their values.

According to Deloitte’s 2022 Global Marketing Trends report, consumers want to support brands that represent them and their values, with 57% being more loyal to brands that commit to addressing social inequities. Seeing this trend in the beverage alcohol industry, especially among upstart products, Breakthru Beverage Group launched the Trident division, its emerging beverage portfolio and brand incubator. Trident assesses not only the product itself but also a brand’s purpose and other critical elements when considering a partnership that can often mean skyrocketing success for new products.

Choosing the Perfect Growth Strategy

For seven years, Trident has been working with different brands to develop a growth strategy that targets the right consumers and also fits with both their operational capacity and financial resources, according to Jenna Oppe, National Director, Emerging Brands. Its goal is to help build the next generation of spirit brands, striving to stay ahead of trends and looking to the future of the industry.


“Consulting is a big part of Trident, and then we look to graduate these brands once they get to a good size and move into Breakthru’s regular portfolio. It’s like taking a little child and helping them find their way in the spirits industry, focusing on high growth and high trending categories that we feel have a potential not just today, but also down the road,” Oppe says.

A Robust Evaluation Process

The Trident team is approached by hundreds of brands each year, accepting a limited number into their evaluation process and ultimately onboarding a select few new brand partners. Blue Run Whiskey, Mijenta Tequila and Onda Tequila Seltzers are just a few examples of recent Trident partners who have achieved tremendous growth in competitive, high-growth categories. According to Oppe, there are three umbrella elements that make a brand stand out and indicate they are ready to partner with Trident: product, purpose and people.

“We have a pretty robust evaluation process when we consider bringing on new brands into our portfolio. We want to ensure we are partnering with the best brands that have the greatest opportunity for growth and expansion within their categories and our markets. We do not want to just collect brands or have the largest portfolio. We want to ensure we’re able to add significant value and partnership to the brands we bring on,” Oppe adds.


To start, the Trident team must feel there is a high growth opportunity with the product and category itself, which includes its package, price point and, of course, its purpose. Why does the brand exist and what makes it different from its competition? They then take the people and presence of a brand into consideration. People can mean the founders’ and owners’ story, advisory team, current sales and marketing structure and any plans for future build on the company. They also really take into consideration brands with diverse founders and ownership.

Additionally, current brand presence in the market is a big factor. What market(s) is the brand currently being distributed in? Is it selling in its home market well, and does it have pull-through there? What are its plans for expansion and how? Is it more locally driven or is their objective to be everywhere? And recently, it is important to understand if they have a current presence online; DTC, socially, digitally or plans for such.

Brands really are building their identity online. Those that consider this part of their marketing plan have a better sense of how it will operate and tell the story for Breakthru Beverage’s customers and their consumers.

“To sum it up, we look for products with purpose, and the people behind it that are willing to work WITH us. We need them to help tell the story and replicate that purpose so we can effectively provide our customers the feeling that they will benefit from having the brand in their establishments,” Oppe says.

Trident’s partner brands have seen so much success, that the number of submissions they’re receiving has grown substantially over the years.

Tried-and-True Marketing Methods

Here are some marketing methods that Trident uses for brand growth:

  • Trident is big collaborators with suppliers and their brand teams to understand the main objective and how they can get there together.
  • The Trident teams align with local leaderships and trade marketing teams to make sure all of the objectives make sense and that they can accomplish the objectives.
  • The Trident team ensures that they are giving and maximizing return on investment (ROI) to make sure that what they are doing also speaks to customers and consumers.
  • The Trident team also has an internal Breakthru platform where they can provide more access and awareness digitally.

Staying Connected to the Latest Trends for Brand Growth

Cultivating a diverse portfolio rich in innovative and flagship brands is the foundation of Breakthru’s growth, from organic growth in existing markets to expanding its footprint through mergers and acquisitions. The Trident portfolio is currently home to a group of high-performing, high-growth, profitable brands across a broad spectrum of categories, including Blue Run Whiskey, Mijenta Tequila and Onda Tequila Seltzers.

As the company reaches a wider variety of consumers across North America, the Trident portfolio is a critical part of staying connected to the latest trends while lifting up deserving and diverse brands.

“We’re always looking for new and exciting opportunities, with some coming to fruition within the next few months or next year. We’re always looking to the next generation and want to make sure today is not what Trident is looking at — we want what the next generation is doing and where their mindset is at. We are looking to continue to identify diverse-owned brands, trending categories, high profits, and highly functioning individuals with stories and a purpose and why to a brand,” Oppe concludes.


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