The founders of Seven Days Cocktail Co. (SDCCo.) have spent the last decade of their careers in the restaurant, bar, and distillery scene in Southern California. When the pandemic first hit, they saw an opportunity to challenge the idea that in order to enjoy great cocktails your only option was to leave the house and go to a great bar. Their goal was simple; to create world class, shelf-stable, ready-to-serve bottled cocktails that stood up to the venerable bar programs sophisticated imbibers were used to.
“Challenging the status quo has always been in our DNA and building our distillery afforded us the opportunity to take our progressive bar programs to a whole new level,” said Jenelle Moreno, Founder & Chief Marketing Officer of Seven Days. “This meant house-made liqueurs, amari, vermouths, bitters/tinctures, and custom spirits designed specifically for each cocktail. With the onset of COVID and stay-at-home orders, consumers quickly validated the market demand for a sophisticated and convenient ready-to-drink product like ours.”
Seven Days didn’t just want to create some run-of-the-mill RTD cocktail. No, they wanted to give people the best of the best—better than what they could get at a bar. And they wanted to do it with shelf-stable, ready-to-serve crafted cocktails using the finest fresh ingredients.
Cocktails like these need to appeal to a large and diversified audience and require a label that communicates what the product is, what it tastes like, and its quality. That’s why Seven Days partnered with Labeltronix to craft premium labels that help their product shine across retail platforms.
Meeting the Growing RTD Consumer Demand
Historically, enjoying cocktails was an endeavor. You either had to get dressed up and leave the house, or make them yourselves. The former, was expensive, time consuming, and inconvenient while the later was messy, required a well stocked bar and tools, and the underlying knowhow. Neither option was a convenient solution to a common problem.
The booming RTD industry is attempting to solve this problem and meet this new market demand. We’re seeing new brands, in new formats enter the retail shelves on a nearly daily basis. By now consumers have been inundated with low ABV versions of canned seltzers, canned wines, and a plethora of hybrid alcoholic beverages calling themselves cocktails yet bearing very little resemblance to cocktails we all know and love.
Seven Days understood that a sophisticated and diversified suite of full strength ready-to-drink cocktails would take time to develop properly. SDDCo.’s cocktails have a 9-month shelf life at room temperature, contain no artificial flavors or preservatives, and are made with real produce. Thanks to some science, chemistry, and a lot of testing, they’ve done it.
And they’ve done it amid growing demand for RTD beverages.
According to industry reports by IWSR, “RTD volumes have been growing faster than any other major drinks category since 2018 and are expected to significantly outperform the wider beverage alcohol market over the next 5 years. Ready-to-drink products are expected to command 8% of Total Beverage Alcohol by 2025.”
Jenelle said, “We see RTD space continuing to evolve and mature as companies continue to innovate. There will be continued innovation, quality will improve, and there will be a move towards premiumization and spirit-based RTDs away from the ubiquitous seltzers that have little to no resemblance to the cocktails the consumer is familiar with when they visit bars and restaurants.”
Premium Cocktails Need Premium Labels
To date, there isn’t another ready-to-drink product quite like what Seven Days Cocktail Co. is offering—using real produce, no off-the-shelf modifiers or spirits, and a willingness to implement the kind of creativity that consumers are used to at their favorite bars. The final packaged product had to convey that premium quality to the consumer via its label and bottle.
“We strongly feel that we have the most delicious cocktails on the market,” Jenelle said, “however, the consumer will never experience them unless they feel compelled to pick up our bottle off the shelf and take it home. So the label has some heavy lifting to do.”
That’s why Seven Days meticulously designed everything about the packaging for their cocktails. “We left no stone unturned,” said Jenelle. “Every detail was thought out—the bottle, the cap, the recipe, the label paper, the ink, the adhesive.”
Everything is of the highest quality:
- The bottle is heavy and conveys quality
- The cap is made of high-quality material
- The label paper is Labeltronix’s Arctic Shield, which does a fantastic job staying in tact when the product gets icy or wet
- The ink on the label won’t run
- The high build, embossing, and spot varnish create texture and depth both physically and visually
Every aspect of the packaging was chosen to show consumers what the product is, what flavor profile they can expect, how easy it is to use, and its premium nature.
“Our approach to designing our label was incredibly detailed—we don’t view it as just a piece of paper that wraps around the bottle with some information,” Jenelle said. “Our goal was to create a sensory experience well before the cocktail inside is savored.”
Shoppers can have that experience with the bottle—they see if, feel it, and can almost smell the flavors coming off the label.
“We want you to understand exactly what it is when you see it,” said Jenelle.
On-Demand Label Printing
In addition to premium quality, Seven Days wanted control over their labeling process. They’re launching with four varieties, and will slowly release the next four, one at a time, so all 8 of the core cocktails are available by summer 2022. With three sizes of each, that’s 24 SKUs. For a startup, it would be a big, risky investment to even meet minimum order quantities of labels for every SKU.
That’s why they chose the Labeltronix Dynamic Hybrid Solution, which lets Seven Days print labels on site, as they need them.
In addition to their core eight cocktails, Seven Days plans on having limited edition seasonally inspired cocktails added to their line up, which further enhances the value of the Labeltronix Dynamic Hybrid printing solutions.
“It really comes down to convenience and reliability for us,” said Jenelle. “Dynamic Hybrid labeling gives us the creative flexibility we need to create the best product imaginable. We need to be able to adapt to changing scenarios in a timely manner, be nimble and flexible enough to get to market quickly, and be able to beta test products in-house at low volumes before committing to large production runs.”
When you use fresh, in-season ingredients, you need to be able to be agile and adaptable. Seven Days Cocktails can craft their cocktails and make product tweaks without having to worry about the label changing or being a bottleneck.
Partnering With Labeltronix (an AWT Company)
Seven Days Cocktails worked with Labeltronix as a partner. They brought their questions, requirements, and goals to the labeling experts, who were able to make recommendations on paper, ink, and hybrid options.
“Labeltronix has been a wonderful partner when it comes to our labels,” said Jenelle. “They’re understanding and patient, and they helped us talk through our various options. We knew what we wanted to do, what we didn’t want to happen, and needed an expert to help us make it happen.”
Watch for Seven Days Cocktail Co. throughout Southern California in the coming weeks. Check back for their seasonal cocktails, too. If you have a label challenge you want to talk through, contact us to work with an expert.