WASHINGTON, D.C., 06/22/2021 – WSWA is thrilled to announce Post Meridiem Spirit Company and Duvernois Creative Spirits’ Romeo’s Gin RTDs as the winners of the Ready-to-Drink Category of WSWA’s extended, virtual 2021 Brand Battle Tournament. Six contenders were met with questions from an expert panel of wholesaler judges about the growing category and what differentiates them on the shelf. The competitive category showed many promising brands, but both Post Meridiem and Romeo’s Gin delivered during the live event, walking away as the Category Winners.
Each Brand Battle Tournament also invites attendees to vote for their favorite contender. Taking home the People’s Choice Award this week was Troop Beverage Co., a full flavor, full strength cocktail that’s rapidly growing in its home state of California.
The Ready-to-Drink category was competitive, as expected, but both category winners had something the judges thought separated them from the pack, providing room for growth and success in the future.
Andrew Rodbell, the Co-Founder of Post Meridiem Spirit Company, focused on the authentic ingredients of his canned cocktails in his pitch. “You know, I can tell our story all day long but it's that magic moment when you see [someone] actually taste the product and they light up…We believe that taste is king. If we can create something that tastes good…then we know that we're going to start to win fans, both as consumers and as trade watchers and wholesalers.
For Stéphane Rochefort, the Executive Vice President of Duvernois Creative Spirits, the brand’s identity rooted in urban street art was a focal point in the competition. After the event he stated, “We're way more than an RTD and gin company…The brand is live – it’s constantly evolving, constantly challenging itself. We’re paving the way through our marketing strategies, arriving with new artists, and bringing new artwork on the cans, allows us to really grow our audience. I think that's really what makes us stand out. There are other brands which use art or collaborate with artists, but for us this is at the core and the basics of everything we've done.”
The category event also included a session from SipSource analyst, Dale Stratton, who provided analysis on the Ready-to-Drink category. Cocktails continue to lead growth among all other classes (across the country), and are the only on-premise category currently showing growth. Post Meridiem and Romeo’s Gin are capitalizing on this growth and are excited for new exposure and continued success in the marketplace.
About 2021 WSWA Brand Battle Tournament
WSWA will be holding the 2021 Brand Battle Tournament virtually and has extended the event series for craft, start-up and small production wine and spirits into a bracketology-style tournament. Brand Battle will showcase rising brands with unique stories, packaging and flavor profiles in an engaging digital environment while panels of wholesaler judges provide valuable, thought-provoking insight and feedback to competitors across eight different product categories. Whether you are interested in competing or viewing the competition, you are sure to walk away with greater knowledge of the industry and see hot emerging trends and products.
To learn more, please visit www.wswa.org/brandbattle.
About Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
WSWA is the national trade association representing the distribution tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 380 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States.