Skinnygirl Launches an Exciting New Collection of Cocktails, Invading the Wine Marketplace
by Phillip Johnson
In a time when everyone is trying to keep their families small and manageable, Beam, Inc. is expanding its family of Skinnygirl Cocktails – and apparently to a fan base that can hardly wait to jump onboard. The Skinnygirl brand is the brainchild of entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel, who brilliantly parlayed her fame as one of the original Real Housewives of New York into multiple reality spin-off series on Bravo, three New York Times best-selling books, a line of health foods and a career focused on healthy living, is one of the fastest growing brands in the wines and spirits industry. Skinnygirl came about when Ms. Frankel discovered out just how high in calories restaurant margaritas were and she saw an incredible opportunity to fill a niche in the marketplace that lacked serious competition: Give women a low-calorie version of the cocktail that didn’t sacrifice fresh, delicious taste. Due to Ms. Frankel’s hard work and tireless efforts, Skinnygirl became one of the fastest-growing brands in the spirits industry on the strength of its flagship low-calorie ready-to-drink Margarita, introduced in 2009.
The Skinnygirl Margarita hit 90,000 cases sold in 2010, according to Impact Databank, leading to Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc.’s purchase of the brand in March 2011. (The sale price was not disclosed.) Last year, sales of the Skinnygirl Margarita, (and its follow-up flavors) Sangria and White Cranberry Cosmo jumped to 595,000 cases – an incredible feat any which you look at it. In 2011, Skinnygirl Cocktails’ comparable net sales rose a staggering 486%. Ms. Frankel, who remains the face of the brand following the sale, remains influential in determining the final blends and flavor profiles of new additions to the line.
On the heels of its explosive success of Skinnygirl Margarita, Sangria and White Cranberry Cosmo, Skinnygirl Cocktails is introducing inventive new offerings for 2012. Once again, Skinnygirl is redefining cocktailing this year by presenting a closetful of great new options that help women step up any social occasion.
Like its predecessors, each offering is purposefully created to be lower in calories yet always great-tasting. Skinnygirl Cocktails is taking it to the next level with the introduction of Skinnygirl The Wine Collection; Skinnygirl Vodka with Natural Flavors; and Skinnygirl Pina Colada. Each new addition to the line fills a specific need in the market and flawlessly caters to the Skinnygirl who wants (and gets) it all.
“We are changing the way women think about socializing by rewriting the rules of cocktailing,” says Melanie Hellenga, Director, Skinnygirl Cocktails. “We are rolling out all of the innovations at once as we are committed to giving ladies everything they want and need to stock a low-calorie, guilt-free bar. We are excited to give more options to Skinnygirl fans around the world.”
Skinnygirl’s first foray into wine will be three low-calorie California Wines priced at a suggested retail price of $14.99: California White Blend (a white blend made primarily from Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio), California Red Blend (red blend made primarily with Syrah) and California Rose (a rosé blend featuring Grenache and Syrah), three offerings that perfectly match the taste preference
of the consumer. At 100 calories per 5 oz. serving, which is 15% lower than the other wines*, each blend is fruit-forward and pleasantly drinkable with a definitive wine profile. Skinnygirl The Wine Collection will be available May 2012 at where alcohol is sold throughout the United States.
“I wanted [Skinnygirl] to taste approachable, not too dry and not too sweet, a very drinkable blend,” Frankel told Wine Spectator. “I’m not a wine snob—I’ve found great wines at Trader Joe’s. I didn’t want this brand to try to be something it’s not.”
The wines are made by the Winery Exchange, headquartered in Novato, Calif., under the direction of winemaker Kurt Lorenzi, who worked closely with both Ms. Frankel and Beam, Inc. to create the blends. “We developed several concepts, looking at categories of wines that should fit for the Skinnygirl consumer, and we settled on blends, [which] allow for great personalization of the style,” said Lorenzi. “It’s important in the first vintage to set the blend style,” he added, explaining that the grapes for Skinnygirl come from all over California to facilitate creating a distinct flavor profile and style that can be reproduced year after year regardless of vintage variations.
According to Beam, Inc. President Bill Newlands, the Skinnygirl line of wines is poised to capitalize on the brand’s already-established core of loyal consumers—largely health-conscious
women ages 30 to 39—and a current focus on convenience (screw caps, ready-to-drink cocktails) as well as a desire for lower calorie, lower alcohol wines. The wine’s lower caloric content and 12 percent alcohol is controlled by a combination of grape variety
selection and ripeness at harvest. “We look to manage the fermentation process and when and how we harvest grapes to make sure that we’re getting good ripeness but not overly ripe, and the Skinnygirl wines certainly show balance,” said Mr. Lorenzi. “the goal is good flavor and good balance without overly high alcohol.”
The question then becomes: Is 100 calories a glass really low-calorie? There is a continuing debate about that but the average caloric content of most wines is 100 calories per 5 ounce glass, according to past estimates by
the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But the content can vary widely, with higher alcohol wines, red wines and wines with residual sugar approaching 120 calories a glass. Given what we know, Skinnygirl will certainly be one of the only wines actively promoting its caloric content.
According to a source with the company, the initial run is about 200,000 cases. Expect to see the wines soon, as a major ad campaign is scheduled to begin in late April including television, digital and print advertising. “It’s a great gift to bring to someone’s house that they’re not going to be embarrassed by, they can cook with it, they can pair it with any good meal and they’re getting value—it’s a good-tasting wine,” Frankel said. “I’m proud of it.”
SKINNYGIRL VODKA WITH NATURAL FLAVORS
Skinnygirl is also enters the largest category in the spirits industry – Vodkas– with four lower-calorie, great-tasting flavors including Bare Naked, Tangerine, Island Coconut and Cucumber. Each is naturally flavored and provides a unique and exciting option for the Skinnygirl consumer. With at least 20% fewer calories than other vodka brands**, Skinnygirl provides a high-quality, low-calorie base that allows women to design their own cocktail for the first time. They will be available May 2012 at a suggested retail price of $21.99 where spirits are sold around the United States.
SKINNYGIRL PINA COLADA
Just when you think that you can’t get enough, Skinnygirl Cocktails is launching Skinny Pina Colada, the cream-free, low-calorie version of a drink that can hit over 800 calories and is typically only consumed on vacation. At less than 100 calories per 4 oz. serving, Skinnygirl achieves the impossible by presenting a guiltless pleasure that instantly provides that feel-good vacation vibe. Skinnygirl Pina Colada will be available May 2012 at a suggested retail price of $21.99 where spirits are sold around the United States.
As one of the world’s leading premium spirits companies, Beam, Inc. is crafting the spirits that stir the world. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including Jim Beam Bourbon, Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Sauza Tequila, Canadian Club Whisky, Courvoisier Cognac, Teacher’s Scotch Whisky,
Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, Laphroaig Scotch Whisky, Cruzan Rum, Hornitos Tequila, Knob Creek Bourbon, EFFEN Vodka, Pucker Flavored Vodka, Larios Gin, Whisky DYC, DeKuyper Cordials, and Skinnygirl Cocktails. Beam is focused on delivering superior performance with its unique combination of scale with agility and a strategy of Creating Famous Brands, Building Winning Markets and Fueling Our Growth. Beam and its 3,200 passionate associates worldwide generated 2011 sales of $2.8 billion, volume of 34 million 9-liter cases and some of the industry’s fastest growing innovations. Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BEAM and is included in the S&P 500 Index and the MSCI World Index. For more information on Beam, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com.
*Based on USDA’s National Nutrient Database Standard reference for wine
**Based on USDA’s National Nutrient Database Standard reference for vodkas
©2012 Skinnygirl Cocktails, Deerfield, IL; Avg. Analysis: All Products: Protein 0g, Fat 0g; Vodka with Natural Flavors (per 1.5 oz.): Calories 75.8, Carbs 0g; Cocktails (per 1.5 oz.): Calories 34.9, Carbs 2g; Sangria (per 5 oz.): Calories 132, Carbs 22.5g; Wine (per 5 oz.): Calories 100, Carbs 5g (SOURCE Skinnygirl Cocktails)
Please Drink Responsibly, Thank you.
Web Site: http://www.skinnygirlcocktails.com