Top 9 D2C Drink Brands for Inspiration

Top 9 D2C Drink Brands for Inspiration
Written by
Richard Emanuel
Published on
May 11, 2021
Read time

COVID-19 may have wreaked havoc on many industries, but one vertical that didn’t suffer in the wake of the global pandemic was beverages. Alcohol sales saw triple-digit increases in some categories, while the non-alcoholic beverage market had an estimated worth of nearly $320 billion in the U.S. alone. 

Carbonated sodas and low-calorie options like flavored sparkling water are leading the growth charge, but it’s not just the drinks themselves that consumers find irresistible. Beverage companies have come into their own in terms of marketing, skillfully deploying social media, influencer campaigns and eye-catching branding to lure customers

When it comes to memorable, highly effective branding, these 9 boozy and bubbly beverages can teach us a thing or two.

1. Berczy Hard Seltzer

You have to be an innovator to launch in the middle of a pandemic, which is exactly what Berczy hard seltzer did in June 2020. It should come as no surprise, then, that the British brand is also pushing the envelope with its value proposition of using natural ingredients and giving a portion of profits to environmental charities. We love the seltzer’s subtle, fruit-focused branding, which mirrors the company’s message of healthfulness and sustainability. 

2. LaCroix

Though it didn’t explode into the mainstream until the 2010’s, LaCroix has been billing itself as the everyman’s sparkling water since its debut in 1981. Launched as an alternative to existing sparkling water options, which consumers perceived as snobbish, the brand took a major gamble with a splashy, retro design scheme that management hated but test audiences loved. The consumer-first approach paid off, making LaCroix a beverage mainstay and social media fan favorite. 

3. Drty Hard Seltzer

Not only is Drty one of few low-carb options in the hard seltzer market, it’s also free of sugar and sweeteners. What’s really sweet about the brand, though, is how it’s embracing emerging platforms like TikTok. There, influencers post creative cocktail concoctions that incorporate the beverage, helping the brand reach new audiences.

4. Yellow Tail Wine

Created in 2001, the Australian company has grown from a family-owned operation into one of the most profitable brands in the wine market. How? Its bold branding and departure from traditional wine marketing are largely to thank. The company has thrived by adopting a self-described “blue ocean” approach, providing a great-tasting, easy-drinking wine at an affordable price. Yellowtail’s simplistic bottle design and plain language resonate with consumers who feel boxed out by expensive, inaccessible wine brands.

5. Mike's Hard Seltzer

From the looks of the clean and bright can design, you’d never know this hard seltzer falls under the umbrella of the Mike’s Hard brand. Currently available in the UK, this low-key product addition is a refreshing departure from the in-your-face look and feel of its cousin, Mike’s Hard Lemonade. We’re always excited to see established brands try something new, so it will be interesting to see if the product makes its way to the U.S. in the coming months and if so, whether it retains the simpler design on American shelves. 

6. Recess Sparkling Water

The obvious approach for a sparkling water infused with hemp would be to play up the cannabis connection--green as the primary color, hemp leaves dominating the packaging, you know the drill. Instead, Recess founder Benjamin Witte went in the completely opposite direction, opting for pastel cans in a matte finish with a mellow script typeface. The result is a totally fresh take on CBD branding that’s perfectly aligned with the beverage’s promise to deliver balance and clarity. 

7. Bodega Bay

This beverage’s light and cheerful branding calls to mind the crashing waves and sun-soaked shorelines of the California beach town it’s named for. Bodega Bay is an alcoholic sparkling water on a mission to change the culture around alcohol consumption from one of guilt to giving. We love brands that put their money where their mouth is; this one is pursuing B-corporation status and has pledged to pledging to donate 1% of all sales to the Thirst Project, which brings clean drinking water to needy communities around the world. 

8. Boylan Bottling Club Soda

Abstaining from alcohol? Reach for one of Boylan Bottling Company’s club sodas. They’ve given the basic seltzer a glow-up with a sleek glass bottle and fun four-pack packaging that mimic those of a boozy beverage. The result is a drinking experience that feels as festive as enjoying a cocktail, without the hangover.

9. Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water

Wild Basin riffs on Colorado’s craft beer craze, positioning itself as “the first craft alcoholic sparkling water.” We think playing up its mountain-town roots was a wise move that sets the boozy brew apart from other hard seltzer brands, which usually seem to go for a tropical vibe. Staying true to its outdoor-friendly image, the brand works with the Can'd Aid Foundation to support river and beach clean-ups around the country.

Is your brand poised to stand out from the competition and make a splash from the first interaction? Parkfield can help you set yourself apart, zeroing in on what makes your food or beverage brand unique and helping you create campaigns that hit home for your customers. Take the next step by scheduling your free eCommerce assessment today