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VeeV Targets 50,000 Cases With First Premixed Entry, VitaFrute

August 14, 2012

Thanks largely to the success of Skinnygirl, the premixed cocktail category has seen a rush of entries and is rapidly expanding, rising 6% to 6.8 million nine-liter cases last year, according to Impact Databank. VeeV Spirits, known for its VeeV Açaí liqueur, is now entering the category with the launch of VitaFrute cocktails, the company tells Shanken News Daily.

The VitaFrute brand will hit national distribution on September 1, retailing at around $14.99 a 750-ml. The new offering comes in three flavors—Margarita, Cosmopolitan and Lemonade—all using VeeV açai liqueur as their base.

VitaFrute (15% abv) is touted as an all-natural, organic and low-calorie entry targeting the health-conscious consumer, both male and female. VeeV co-founder Carter Reum says that while Skinnygirl opened the door for the low-calorie cocktail segment, there’s plenty of room for likeminded brands to flourish—and perhaps premiumize the category. Reum expects VitaFrute to reach 50,000 nine-liter cases in the brand’s first 12 months on the market.

VitaFrute will launch only at retail, and the company has no immediate plans to introduce it to the on-premise. “The strategy is to get it in the major chains where the core VeeV liqueur already has a presence,” Reum says. VeeV will back the VitaFrute launch with a multimillion-dollar social and digital marketing campaign.

VeeV’s core liqueur brand has been growing quickly from a small base. After doubling in size last year to about 60,000 cases, the company projects an increase of around 50% for VeeV Açai in 2012. Launched in 2007, VeeV now has a presence in all 50 states. The company appointed Bryan Crowley as its first chief operating officer in June. Crowley was formerly CMO for Pabst Brewing, and also spent time in the Anheuser-Busch organization, in addition to other consumer packaged goods sales and marketing posts.

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