CANTEEN Spirits Rises in Ready-to-Drink Cocktail Market
CANTEEN Spirits Ready to Drink Canned Cocktails
There’s been a lot of talk about the ready-to-drink cocktail category. Some analysts say that the hard seltzer bubble has popped and, if you’re not one of the top ten brands, it’s time to strap on a parachute. Others say that’s just ridiculous. Our fridges have room for all the delicious drinks. We’re with the latter. There is one matter where analysts find no room to debate, however, and that is that ready-to-drink (RTD) canned cocktails are on the rise. One brand that is launching into the atmosphere is CANTEEN Spirits. CANTEEN Spirits broke ground in 2019, and barely two years later, the biggest alcohol distributor in the world, Anheuser-Busch, signed on to distribute CANTEEN and add them to Anheuser-Busch’s Beyond Beer portfolio. It’s no wonder as CANTEEN Spirits won Shanken’s IMPACT Hot Brands Award for two consecutive years.
What’s their secret?
We’ve researched the brand’s recipe for success, and we’ll tell you what we learned.
CANTEEN Spirits began their journey with Vodka Sodas in 2019. Two years later, the brand released two new expressions: CANTINA Tequila Soda in April 2021 and CANTEEN Gin Spritz in September 2021. Altogether, the brand has thirteen flavors, seven in their vodka category and three each in their gin and tequila. What’s so impressive, however, is the range of their flavors. Their CANTEEN Vodka Sodas offer Cucumber Mint, Strawberry, Ruby Red, Black Cherry, Lime, Pineapple, and Watermelon. CANTEEN Gin Spritz offers Blossom with hibiscus, lime, and juniper, Ruby with ruby red grapefruit and rosemary, and Citrus with lemon, lime, cucumber, and juniper. They truly offer something for every canned cocktail lover.
The brand decided to do something entirely different for their CANTINA Tequila Soda expressions. CANTINA Tequila Soda took on the classic cocktail varieties with Ranch Water, Grapefruit Paloma, and Watermelon Margarita. In a 2021 press release, Brandon Cason, co-founder and CEO of CANTEEN Spirits, said, “CANTINA is more than a drink; it celebrates those who are explorers in both mind and spirit. We created CANTINA to deliver an artisanal spirit for today’s generation of cultural trailblazers who love quality tequila.”
It’s not surprising that most canned cocktail consumers choose their alcoholic beverages due to the quality of the flavor. A study done by Veylinx last year revealed that taste was everything to alcohol beverage consumers. The majority of all consumers surveyed rated it the most important factor. CANTEEN Spirits takes their flavor quality seriously. The first way that they do this is by using premium spirits. For their Vodka Soda expression, CANTEEN uses premium distilled and filtered corn-based vodka. Their CANTINA Tequila Sodas use premium blue weber agave tequila from Tequila in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. The brand’s premium gin spirits are produced closer to home, coming from “the hill country of Austin, Texas“.
The second factor that goes into CANTEEN Spirits Canned Cocktails’ clean, refreshing taste is their all-natural ingredients. They craft each of their products with a simple list of ingredients: premium spirits, purified sparkling water, and natural flavor. These drinks are plain-and-simple delicious. There are no additives, added sugar, or sugar replacements. These drinks deliver pure deliciousness without any unneeded ingredients.
One of the greatest advantages that CANTEEN has on the RTD market is that they were able to create better-for-you options. “Better-for-you options” means that CANTEEN Spirits’ three lines of full-flavor canned cocktails come with 99 calories and zero sugar. Additionally, their gin expressions have only two carbs, their tequila expression has one to two carbs, and their vodka expressions have absolutely no carbs. In an interview with Forbes, Brandon Cason stated, “One of the most important features of the brand is that we have zero sugar and no carbs. There are plenty of brands in the category that are full of sugar and carbs which make them hard to enjoy and much less sessionable. CANTEEN is not filling and is light and refreshing and can be enjoyed on the go or at home.”
Sessionable is a term you hear a lot in the canned cocktail industry. It’s a fancy way of saying that this drink is enjoyable to consume even after you’ve finished a can or two. If a drink is too high in calories or sugar, you can only drink so much before your stomach rebels. Another factor that makes CANTEEN Spirits sessionable is their alcohol content. Unlike many other canned cocktail brands that have elected to have their RTDs have a high alcohol proof, CANTEEN keeps their alcohol content at a 5% ABV (and a 5.6% ABV for CANTINA Tequila Sodas). This alcohol level is on par with most hard seltzers. Meaning that you can enjoy a couple of cans without fear of a hangover.
One factor is indisputable about the canned cocktail market — if the alcohol brand doesn’t distribute to where you’re at, you’re not going to be able to drink it. CANTEEN Spirits has leaped over this hurdle by distributing their products to all corners of the United States of America. Unlike many canned cocktail companies, they launched their product with nationwide distribution. Part of this was due to financial backing from A-Listers in the Nashville and Texas music scene. In a 2020 press release, Brandon Cason stated, “We are thrilled to have such a unique group of investors that saw the vision we had for the brand and who are equally excited to be coming along for the adventure.”
Still, even with a strong launch, it was the quality of the product that catapulted this product to the stars. CANTEEN Spirits’ flavors come in single-flavor four-packs of “adventure-ready” 12 oz cans and multiple flavor 8-packs. You can purchase CANTEEN Spirits at a store near you or through an online retailer. Find your closest retailer on the CANTEEN Spirits website.
Read our reviews of CANTEEN Spirits and CANTINA Tequila Sodas on Seltzer Nation.