Alcohol Shifts to the Single Serve Category

Alcohol Shifts to the Single Serve Category

There’s a surge in alcoholic beverages packaged in single serving portions right now, and brands both large and small are bringing some unexpected approaches to this sub-category. While imbibing in public spaces is often not condoned, sometimes the occasion calls for a cocktail, or a glass of wine – hold the glass. Picnic enthusiasts and tailgaters everywhere can now enjoy an adult beverage without the burden of lugging around and disposing of bottles and cans. While at first glance this movement seems to revolve around having convenient drinks on the go, there are a few interesting factors driving this category.

 

To differentiate from traditional alcohol packaging, the product formula needn’t change a bit – it all comes back to the structure. Some truly innovative shapes are emerging in these single serving alcohol options. Stack Wines offer function and portability that you can’t get from a traditional bottle or even box of wine. Separated into four single servings, this product makes it easy to moderate alcohol consumption. The containers are shatterproof and meant to drink directly out of, relieving the consumer of the need to supply their own wine glass or drink from a plastic party cup. The wines are sold stacked atop one another in a four pack, with each serving snapping apart for easy sharing.

 

We’ve seen the pouch pop up as a structure in the beverage and snack categories in recent years, and it’s adapted well to single serving alcohol as well. Triple Crown Whiskey is forgoing the traditional liquor structure with their newest offering of single and double shots. The Vice President of Marketing at McCormick Distilling said, “Bulky bottles and broken glass are a thing of the past with our flexible pouches, which fit easily into your pocket and lay flat on top of packed coolers.” (BevNet) The single and double shot pouches make for a simple, pre-measured serving for those looking to enjoy a convenient cocktail.

 

 

Another standout structure is brought to this category by BuzzBallz, which features a pop open top, attached to a plastic ball shaped container. These premixed cocktails in a slew of fruity flavors seem convenient for single serve usage, but the bright color scheme, flavor profiles and friendly packaging might be appealing to a more adolescent audience. It begins to provoke the question of whether there’s a need for maturation in this particular category, in the same way that we see executed in traditional alcohol.

 

Similarly, Smirnoff Ice has long been marketed as a spiked soda-like malt beverage. They have recently released the next generation of the product, Smirnoff Ice Electric. Upon first glance, the visual similarity to a performance drink is striking. Non-carbonated and colored with those same vibrant hues as well known sports beverages and energy drinks, the company does aim to market this product as an option for an active lifestyle; active on the dance floor, that is. The RTD beverage comes in a resealable plastic bottle and confirms its intent with the tagline, “Keep It Moving”. (AdAge)

 

While many of the products in the single serve alcoholic beverage category seem to be focused on convenience and functionality, there is a clear toeing of the line on target audience. Are some options pushing boundaries for what is a mature and responsible way to consume alcohol? Will there be a breaking point in marketing to underage demographics? We’re curious to know your thoughts. Email us at blake@interactonshelf.com