The brand faced challenges after its early successes. “We had challenges because in 2016, Dusty Boots was a massive hit. It was very tough to keep up with supply and we faced the same thing with Cottage Springs. Our team is very innovative and we’re always trying to bring the best possible product to the customer. So, when we’ve had a couple of brands really take off, it was really chal- lenging to keep the product in stock. It’s a challenge to forecast new innovations,” said McDonald. In the last two years, the brand added experts in supply, marketing and sales to ensure a steady supply for customers, while continuing to bring out market-leading innovations. Iconic Brewing focuses on innovation and is now one of the leading brands in Canada with a ‘better for you’ aim. “We were one of the first beverage companies in Canada to disclose all ingredients on nutritional fact labels because we have nothing to hide. We want our consumers to be educated. As consumers ourselves, we want to know what goes into our body. We create all of our brands with that in mind. We always try to connect with the consumer and be part of their daily celebration,” said Bartek. “We don’t want to sacrifice anything when it comes to developing our products. Delivering a high quality, great tasting, product without adding any sugars or artificial sweeteners is actually quite challenging, quite difficult. It may sound easy on the on the outside, and simple in theory, but there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make this product and make it consistent. A lot of our com- petitors might add sugar, sweeteners, or artificial flavors. Those are there essentially to mask any off notes or alcohol after taste,” said McDonald.
“As the saying goes, the simplest things are sometimes the hardest to achieve. It’s a lot trickier to work with natural flavors than most people would realize. There might be hundreds of different types of lemons or watermelon that you have to choose from, and they’ll have dif- ferent type of interactions with the vodka and the water that you’re using. Since you want to achieve a really clean, easy drinking product that still has a full flavor and doesn’t have any off notes, you have to go through hundreds of iterations,” said McDonald. Iconic Brewing produces Cottage Springs bever- ages, along with Liberty Village Dry Cider, Good Vines Wine Spritz and Cabana Coast Refresh- ments with new launches set for this summer. After hearing from customers that carbonation was a problem, the company set out to create something new. “We’re always developing new ideas and always perfecting our recipe, especial- ly with our newest launch that we’re launching this summer, which we’re super excited about. It will be Canada’s first non-carbonated vodka water. Carbonation is something that also con- tributes to the flavor perception, so it’s really difficult to make something that tastes really great. With our two flavors that we are launch - ing this summer, strawberry kiwi and raspberry lime, we really nailed down the perfect combi- nation of vodka flavor, flavor level and the water chemistry to make the drinks really flavorful and natural tasting. I think we really hit the gold mine with this one because it’s such a great refreshing product,” said Bartek. Cottage Springs Vodka Water is now available with 5% alcohol and no carbonation in a distinc- tive blue can. Another new product, Good Vines, billed as the world’s first sugar free canned wine spritz, launched in April. A brand that launched last year, Liberty Village sugar free dry cider, is cur- rently the number one selling Ontario craft cider at the LCBO. “Quite honestly the sales have sur- prised us with how well it’s done and its growth rate. If it continues on this trajectory, a national rollout in 2021 is certainly something to look out for,” said McDonald.
“We don’t want to sac- rifice anything when it comes to developing our products.”
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • DECEMBER 2020 120
DECEMBER 2020 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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