BodyArmor Co-Founder Launches Premium Casa Azul Canned Cocktail

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Diving Brief:

  • Serial entrepreneur Lance Collins launches Casa Azul, a tequila soda. The drink differs from other hard seltzers and ready-to-drink cocktails by using real spirits instead of malt liquor.
  • Casa Azul will first be available for purchase in California, Colorado, Texas, Georgia and Florida, as well as online. It will be sold in four flavors: lime and strawberry margarita, peach mango and watermelon at a suggested retail price of $12.99 for a four-pack.
  • Collins is no stranger to creating successful beverage brands like BodyArmor, Core and Nos Energy, many of which were later acquired by major CPGs for large sums.

Overview of the dive:

Canned alcoholic beverages are infiltrating the market from start-ups and large CPGs aiming to capture a slice of the fast-growing category. Increasingly, a trick to standing out is to offer something unique, and Collins thinks Casa Azul does just that.

The brand differentiates itself from many traditional canned drinks by having a simple ingredient list that includes sparkling water, tequila, natural fruit flavors and agave nectar. It also has only 100 calories per can and 1 gram or less of carbs. In a statement, Collins said other canned cocktails made with real spirits have more than twice the alcohol and three times the carbohydrates and sugar.

Likewise, the market is saturated with low calorie, low alcohol by volume hard seltzer which, while convenient, is made with malt liquor. Coca-Cola, which sells a line of liquor from its Topo Chico with partner Molson Coors, was recently sued by a customer who said its margarita products are misleading because seltzers don’t contain tequila.

“With Casa Azul, I saw an opportunity to develop an easy-drinking and delicious Tequila Soda that brings the best of both worlds,” Collins said. “Many traditional tequila drinks in cans today, like margaritas or ranch waters, only contain real tequila. Even more confusingly, they call it ‘agave’ but they’re talking about agave syrup.”

According to Drizly, RTD cocktails are ranked as the top adult drink that respondents plan to buy more of this year. The alcohol e-commerce company also found that 73% of respondents said they would most likely enjoy RTD cocktails at home.

It’s no wonder companies have been announcing new drinks at such a rapid pace.

Brown-Forman and Coca-Cola shared their plans to introduce an RTD cocktail combining Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and the iconic soda brand; and Beam Suntory, which makes Sauza tequila, launched Sauza Agave cocktails with Boston Beer. And Diageo is partnering with The Vita Coco Company on a range of premium canned cocktails made with Captain Morgan rum and Vita Coco coconut water.

As Casa Azul joins a long list of alcoholic beverages now on store shelves, consumers want more choice and have flocked to the simplicity of a ready-to-drink beverage – two attributes that could benefit the new Collins product.

Despite dozens of other brands, many of which are financially backed by major CPGs, it’s also hard to argue with the entrepreneur’s earlier success. Coca-Cola bought Fuze in 2009 and Keurig Dr Pepper acquired premium water brand Core for $525 million in 2018. Coca-Cola also recently spent $5.6 billion to buy the remaining 85% stake that she didn’t have in BodyArmor.

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