Canned Cocktails - 100mL Mini Cans - CoPacking RTD - Very Good Mfg

The Smallest Stars of 2022: Craft Cocktails in Tiny Cans

Ready to drink, bar-quality cocktails are becoming increasingly available outside the bar in adorably miniature 100mL cans.

The new single-serve packaging format presents the opportunity for exquisite sips of high proof, craft cocktails with the portability and convenience consumers are looking for.

Whether it’s a picnic, pool party, outdoor concert, tailgate, beach day, or pop-up event, the introduction of the 100mL can gives customers a handy way to bring along their favorite, perfectly composed Margarita, Old Fashioned, Paloma or Moscow Mule — no bartender required.

Canned Cocktails - 100mL Mini Can - High Proof - Post Meridiem Spirits

Above: Two new summer-ready additions to the Post Meridiem Spirits lineup, the Modern Classic Cosmopolitan (54 proof) and The London Dry Southside (52 proof). Image via BevNet, “10 New RTD Cocktails to Sip in the Sunshine”

The canned, single-serve RTD boom started with a banner year in 2020, and hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down since, even as consumers are returning to restaurants and bars. According to Nielsen data, the ready-to-drink cocktail category continues to see triple digit year-over-year growth in off-premise sales.

A major contributor to the exponential category growth is the rise in premiumization, as discerning consumers gravitate toward smaller sips of higher quality craft offerings.

Atlanta-based Tip Top Cocktails, founded in 2019, pack a high proof punch of bartender-worthy flavors into a compact 100mL can. Sporting the tagline “Always balanced, never too sweet” and in the range 24 percent to 37 percent ABV, Tip Top has found breakout success in drink service on Delta flights.

Canned Cocktails - 100mL Mini Can - High Proof - Tip Top Cocktails

Above: Regarding the compact, tin-plated steel can that houses Tip Top’s tiny canned cocktails — “'People love small things, and just want to hold it. It fits in a jacket, pocket, purse, fanny pack,” (co-founder) Neal Cohen said. “And, it stacks nicely in an airplane cart,” (co-founder) Yoni Reisman added. — Image and quote via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Atlanta-Based Tip Top Proper Cocktails Launches A New Line, Takes Flight”

Minnesota-based Dashfire Cocktails has similarly opted for tiny cans and deliciously strong drinks. Every carefully composed flavor profile features premium spirits and artisanal bitters, presented in Art Deco-inspired packaging. Of the six cocktails in the line (all “spins” on classic cocktails), five clock in at 38 percent ABV.

Our favorite is the Dashfire Manhattan, made with Rye Whiskey, Cream Sherry and bitters, elevated with the addition of Black Mission Fig, Cascara Cherry, Vanilla and Rhubarb Root — a truly delightfully elegant collection of flavors for the humble 100mL can.

Canned Cocktails - 100mL Mini Can - High Proof - Dashfire Cocktails

Above: Dashfire’s lineup of single-serve canned cocktails. From left to right: Chai White Russian, Lemon & Lavender Martini, Pomegranate El Presidente, Bourbon Old Fashioned, Elderflower Martinez, Fig & Cascara Manhattan. Each 100mL cocktail ranges in ABV from 17% to 38% and will sell for $4.99 each. Image via The Growler, “Dashfire Unveils Six Single-Serve Canned Cocktails”

The growing trend toward premium ingredients can extend all the way to the design of the single-serve cans themselves.

In a branding move reminiscent of the 2015-ish RX Bar craze, Post Meridiem Spirits prints the exact recipe and ingredient ratio of each cocktail on the can. It’s a level of transparency that true craft cocktail connoisseurs will appreciate.

Canned Cocktails - 100mL Mini Can - High Proof - Post Meridiem Spirits

Above: More than a cute can — “After scouring the world for the perfect package, we are the first line of cocktails to use these 100mL tiny cans. They’re the standard size for a cocktail. They’re portable. And they protect our quality ingredients. Great things come in small packages indeed.” — Image and quote via Post Meridiem Spirits

The consensus outlook among industry experts is bullish on continued rapid growth in the RTD canned cocktail category.

Generational shifts align with main drivers of category growth. As Gen Z begins to age into beverage alcohol purchasing, consumer preference for convenience, premium ingredients, and wellness-oriented products and experiences will continue to propel RTD cocktail expansion.

“Everything indicates that this category has a very long runway for growth, and we expect the RTD category to double in size by 2025,” says Natalie Accari, the vice president of RTDs and convenience for Pernod Ricard, quoted in SevenFifty’s Inside the Evolution of Ready-to-Drink Cocktails.

“Spirits-based RTDs have been experiencing exponential growth," Accari continued. "We could see the segment hitting 100 million cases per year by 2025.”

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