A Canned Cocktail Company Is Expecting Robust Sales In Dry January

December 28, 2023

As seen in Forbes | Contributor: Jeannette Hurt

Just because temperatures drop, not every ready-to-drink brand is expecting sales to dip as Dry January gets underway.

In fact, Adam Kroener, president and co-founder of Carbliss hand-crafted premium cocktails, expects January to be robust in terms of sales.

“People tend to assume that sales drop significantly in the winter,” says Kroener. “The reality is we only experience a slight seasonality, and that is very limited.”

Kroener says that while some ready-to-drink lines may experience dips of 50 to 75 percent, Carbliss has not suffered such extreme drops. “Last year, we saw just a 10 percent dip during the winter months compared to the rest of the year.”

Carbliss is a ready-to-drink low alcohol by volume canned cocktail company, which Kroener founded with his wife Amanda in 2019. The two were visiting friends in the tourist town of Elkhart Lake, WI, and their friends served them their first hard seltzers.

“Frankly, we weren’t impressed with the taste,” says Amanda. “We had just begun a low carb, low calorie diet, and we wanted an enjoyable drink that aligned with our diet.” So, the two experimented with vodka and different flavors, and Carbliss, which contains zero carbs, zero sugars and only 100 calories per can, was born.

Michael Dempsey, executive vice president of Carbliss, says that the brand’s strong, cold weather sales – especially for a brand founded in Wisconsin where temperatures dip precipitously – are due to two main factors.

“Our success in what some would consider the offseason is a result of our go-to market strategy, as well as our brand’s ability to provide our consumers with the exact flavors that they prefer,” Dempsey says. “Carbliss is full flavor just like the bar cocktails that consumers love and we offer the best nutrition panel in beverage alcohol.”

Carbliss, Dempsey says, works in tandem with its distributors. “We are able to (maintain strong sales) through strategic allocation of our people’s time and resources, and that provides our distributor partners with the ability to allocate their time and resources outside of their peak selling months,” he says.

According to Syndicated data, Carbliss has become one of the top ten selling RTD spirits brands in the nation, although its distribution is only to seven states and to less than 10 percent of the U.S. population. Since its original launch, Carbliss has sold more than 2 million cases of product, and its year by year sales continue to increase.

This year, Carbliss had a record sales month in June, and that entire months’ revenue was nearly the same revenue the brand earned in all of 2022. In the months of October and November of 2023, the brand’s revenue was 81 percent of all of 2022’s revenue.

The revenue growth is driven, in part, by its expanded offerings. This past year, Carbliss launched four new flavors – Moscow Mule, Strawberry Margarita, Paloma and Mojito – and the brand included all four in a new mixed pack. “In 2023 we launched a further extension of cocktail innovations with a mixed pack of spirits – one pack with three spirits in it, “ Kroener says. “This helps the carb, sugar and calorie conscious consumer enjoy full flavor options with unique and complex flavor profiles that match the full calorie alternatives.”

Forbes | Contributor: Jeannette Hurt | December 28, 2023