Good Sunday fills a healthy niche in ready-to-drink gin

The upstart brand tries to promote itself in a buzzy category, despite many methods being taken off the table.

Good Sunday Inc--Meet Good Sunday- the millennial-owned gin soda

Ready-to-drink is a category that’s really being “ginned” up lately.

Category leaders like Beefeater is making pink strawberry gin, and now upstart brand Good Sunday is using gin as the basis for a low-alcohol grapefruit soda.

Former roommates, cider fans and lifelong pals Christian Karayannides and Dylan Corson recently launched the grapefruit gin soda, Good Sunday’s flagship drink, available throughout Ontario at the LCBO as of this week. According to Karayannides, he and Corson were noticing a segment dominated by either high-alcohol or sugar-filled offerings and wanted to carve out a niche for itself, emphasising real fruit juice and Ontario sourced-gin.

“Everyone now wants to know what’s in their drinks. We are very transparent,” Karayannides says, adding that the “better-for-you” low sugar and low alcohol trend happening in Europe and the U.S., is now heading to Canada – Good Sunday has one gram of sugar and a 3% ABV content. The brand’s target is health conscious under 30, and Good Sunday is trying to get a 50/50 gender split, seeing opportunity beyond what is traditionally seen as a segment for women.

Karayannides tells strategy that while it might eventually consider distilling a standalone gin at some point, “we don’t even look at the gin landscape as our category.” He says Good Sunday sees itself competing with Georgian Bay Spirit, as well as vodka-based soda offerings from Nude and Nütrl. Hard seltzers like White Claw have also seen a surge in popularity.

“The hardest thing for us is launching a new SKU. We are not Molson Coors, who already have brand recognition. We have to introduce the brand, the drink and who we are, and are now limited to digital,” he says, referencing platforms that have been taken off the table due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Karayannides says Good Sunday had a big marketing program in place, featuring OOH, activation at music and spirit-related events and sampling programs with the LCBO. These initiatives are either up in the air or pushed back. Because of COVID-19, he says, its sales team also can’t go in stores to present danglers, so all it has right now is a little shelf talker, because it’s a new SKU at the LCBO.

“We only have one medium [to promote], and that’s been the toughest thing.” The brand is concentrating its efforts on Instagram, but Karayannides says that he is buoyed by the reception Good Sunday has received on-shelf.

The brand has also created some packaging innovations, including a giveaway box (pictured below) that will “get people talking” and raise awareness. The boxes highlight the features of the brand, such as its pink colour. It’s a way to introduce people, he says, and it features it “beautifully simple” tagline.

“We wanted the drink and the design to be simple,” Karayannides says. “It’s essential to have good design and stand out. Simple and visually appealing that someone would want to carry in their hands.” He says that eventually it wants to explore packaging that is more environmentally friendly than aluminum cans.

From here, the brand is focused on expanding from its “local launching pad” out west, as there are private channels rather than government-owned, and eventually, as well as into Quebec.

In Ontario, Good Sunday is also available through home delivery by The Beer Guys and Runner.