SakeBomb is looking to blow up the RTD category

The challenger brand is coming to independent Western retailers with fun, explosive POS assets.


Ready-to-drink challenger SakeBomb is playing with point-of-sale materials that look like they might detonate to carve out a niche in the category.

Stefana Prodea is founder and CEO of BC-based Bomb Beverages, and now lives in Texas, a key target for the beverage along with British Columbia.

Prodea tells strategy one of SakeBomb’s co-founders, Jerin Mece, helped bring Nude Vodka to market and that it was that brand’s gin, iced tea and tequila-based RTDs that paved the way for more unconventional flavour bases, like sake, to have market appeal. The SakeBomb name, associated with the ritual of a sake bomb – the cocktail created when a sake is dropped into a beer – lends itself to a bunch of lighthearted punning.

“What was fun about the name ‘bomb’, is that there is so much you can do with it,” Prodea says. The packaging amplifies this with “warning, handle with friends” and of course, large cartoon-like explosive devices and fuses on the POS with “active deployment zone” messaging.

SakeBomb also has designs on less explosive, but still fun, shopper assets like inflatables and beer pong tables soon.

On the design side, all the cans are colourful, Prodea says, in order to stand out against a sea of white that the RTD category is often known for.


SakeBomb is in Western independent liquor stores in three SKUs – Berry Blast, Lime Drop, and Peach Smash – and the team is going to start its presentation to the BC Liquor in October. The brand is pushing Canada-wide, and will be launching in the Lonestar State in the new year.

“We initially did it because one of our partners invested in a brewery out of Austin, that then acquired a sake facility for the equipment,” Prodea says. The startup started making artisanal sake, but that it was a bit of an afterthought, until the idea of making a seltzer out of it was hatched, Prodea explains.

The team of five investors soon found out that it is smoother and sweeter than vodka, and that the resulting drink was low sugar, low calories and low carbs. Those are all very on-trend, as are SakeBomb’s low ABV and plant-based credentials. According to Prodea, it’s seeing an even split in demand between both genders.

At first, the investors were nervous about leaning in so much into sake, but according to Prodea the taste makes it relatable as a seltzer, rather than being tied to a particular spirit.

“Liquid to lips, cans in hands” is the company’s mantra. And it accomplishes this through a combination of social media marketing and sampling, coming to Rifflandia, a Victoria music festival, and Diner En Blanc, the worldwide all white apparel party.

“It’s about brand awareness and securing festivals,” Prodea says.

The RTD is sold by individual cans or in variety packs of 12. Strategic Objectives is handling the brand’s PR.