Romeo’s Gin finds a niche within the RTD niche

Duvernois Creative Spirits is launching non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink beverages to meet a growing consumer demand.

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Romeo’s Gin has already established itself as a leader in Quebec’s ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail market, but now it’s looking to take a commanding position in a faster-growing subsegment.

The Duvernois Creative Spirits-owned brand is releasing three of its most popular drinks – gin tonic, gin fizz and gin spritz – in non-alcoholic versions, intended to keep the beverages accessible for drinkers who are either avoiding alcohol together or, as data has started to show, are seeking healthier alternatives to moderate their intake.

Romeos2“We’ve been reviewing data from International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR) to look into what consumers are looking for in Canada,” says Anik Kerr Denis, marketing manager for Duvernois. “What we realized is that 58% of consumers say they drink both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on the same occasion.”

“What that means is that there’s been a mind shift about non-alcoholic beverages,” adds Denis. “They’re not only for people who are pregnant, have health conditions or have issues with alcohol. There’s a real trend.”

In fact, Denis says, according to the most recent figures the company had analyzed – statistics published this past month – “two in five Canadians bought a low- or no-alcohol beverage.”

The decision to launch the non-alcoholic RTD line may have been driven by trends and market demand, but it is powered by new distribution opportunities.

Duvernois recently invested in Drummondville, Quebec’s BockAle Microbrewery, which gave the company access to the expertise needed to produce and distribute the products in a new network: grocery.

Romeos3Thanks to that new distribution channel, the non-alcoholic cocktails will be sold in Quebec Metro banners, as opposed to Crown corporations such as SAQ in Quebec and LCBO in Ontario. That, paired with a new sales director – David Gurd, who had worked for Sleeman for more than two decades before joining Duvernois last August – is opening up new opportunities for the brand to build awareness for all of its offerings.

“There are opportunities for any business that makes sure it is everywhere,” says Denis. “As a company, we want to make sure that we build as much awareness as possible. Gaining this distribution channel will enable us to raise even more of that awareness.”