W
hat do Skinnygirl Mojito, Pin-
nacle Rainbow Sherbet Vodka
and Sauza Sparkling Margarita
all have in common? They are
all new to market, they are all in the Beam
portfolio and—though they technically oc-
cupy different spirits categories—they are
all “Lifestyle Beverages.”
“Lifestyle beverages are those products
that are purpose built based on a keen
understanding of what consumer trends
are driving people’s needs and choices
today,” says Deb Boyda, General Manager
for Beam’s Venture Category Business
team. And, explains Boyda, in the
marketplace today the most significant
trends are the appeal of low calorie, flavor
and convenience.
“We really want to create a tight connec-
tion between the lives of our consumers
and the brands we offer,” Boyda stresses.
“It’s about providing solutions for what they
are already looking for.”
The Skinnygirl Solution
Skinnygirl Cocktails filled an obvious hole
in the marketplace when it launched in
2009. “Skinnygirl fell into a white space
opportunity: No one was serving the
needs of women in the cocktail space,”
Boyda recalls.
Skinnygirl Cocktails—the line now in-
cludes 16 products in Ready-to-Serve, Vod-
ka and Wine—enables women to indulge in
a cocktail without the high-calorie price tag.
Beam is able to keep almost the entire line
of Skinnygirl Cocktails under 100 calories
per serving while also scoring big on the
convenience scale. “We launched the Skin-
nygirl Minis last year—4-packs of individual
200ml plastic bottles which are perfect for
outdoor occasions,” Boyda says.
The brand’s “Lifestyle” appeal is
amped up by founder and celebrity entre-
preneur Bethenny Frankel. “As a woman
and a charismatic entrepreneur, Bethenny
has a lot of sizzle and cache as a person.”
The “wow-factor” she brings to the entire
Skinnygirl portfolio helps Beam speak to
their target consumer: “women who know
what they want and go out and get it.”
Last year Beam took the Skinnygirl
brand into the vodka and wine categories
with impressive early results. “Through Q1
2013, Skinnygirl’s net comparable sales
are up 140%,” shares Boyda. Launched in
March of this year: Skinnygirl White Cher-
ry Vodka, Skinnygirl Moscato Wine, Skin-
nygirl Sweet ’n Tart Grapefruit Margarita
and Skinnygirl Mojito.
The Future of Flavor
The marketplace seems awash in flavored
vodkas. Yet Pinnacle—a brand that Beam
acquired last year—remains one of the
fastest growing category leaders. A lot of
this has to do, ironically, believes Boyda,
with the strength of Pinnacle’s unflavored
vodka. “From a product quality standpoint,
we have one of the best-tasting vodkas out
there. It is rare to find a price/quality ra-
tio like this.” Pinnacle’s base vodka rep-
resents approximately half of the brand’s
total sales.
When it comes to flavors, “our chal-
lenge to ourselves is to be the first to mar-
ket with flavors that
have unique appeal,”
Boyda describes. Pin-
nacle pioneered this
trend with the intro-
duction of Pinnacle
Whipped
several
years ago (it still re-
mains the best-sell-
ing of the brand’s 30
flavors). Pinnacle’s
latest innovations
are Rainbow Sherbet
and Strawberry Shortcake, summertime-
focused flavors with nostalgic appeal.
Staying on Trend Patrol
Beam spends a great deal of time looking
at what will be trending tomorrow, and
they see sparkling beverages as a place to
be. Enter Sauza Sparkling Margarita, as
Vanessa Jenkins, Senior Marketing Direc-
tor of Tequilas at Beam, explains: “We’ve
taken America’s #1 cocktail and made it
even more refreshing by adding a bit of
effervescence to it. It’s fresh, bubbly, and
ready-to-serve—perfect for any ladies’ eve-
ning with friends. Launched in April, the
flavors—Original Lime, Wild Berry and
Mango Peach—all check in at just under
10% ABV and retail for $12.99.
BRAND
PROFILE
Big Flavor, Low Calorie & Convenience:
Beam Identifies the Top Three Trends Driving
Consumer Drinking Behavior
BY KRISTEN BIELER
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