A rum punch for every occasion – PUNCHY drinks brings drinkers, teetotallers and moderators together
Foresight Factory invited the founders of PUNCHY Drinks to The Creative Exchange to discuss all things low- to no-ABV. PUNCHY introduced its innovative rum punch drinks that disrupt the divide between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
What is PUNCHY Drinks? Founded in 2018, PUNCHY Drinks has created the world’s first rum punch with a 4% and 0% ABV option. The difference between the two is barely discernible, giving consumers a choice. We discuss why this choice is a pivotal moment in the alcohol sector.
Blended with peach and ginger, the drinks are vegan, gluten-free and low calorie, coming in below the sugar tax threshold. In each drink, PUNCHY balances five key flavors. This lives up to the PUNCHY name, which is derived from the Sanskrit word for ‘five’: pañc.
PUNCHY’s mission is to “unite people whether they’re drinking or not”. Founder Paddy Cavanagh-Butler was inspired to start PUNCHY after a group holiday, where one friend was unable to drink alcohol. “I picked up a load of rum in duty-free to make a batch of punch for the week, and decided to experiment by creating a non-alcoholic version for her. She really felt a part of the group because her drink was the same in all but its alcohol content. When I got back to London, I thought, hang on – there’s something in this.”
Paddy teamed up with co-founders Charlie Hobhouse and Sam Matanle to respond to the “seismic shift in the way people are drinking, with 1 in 4 18-25 year olds being teetotal.” PUNCHY’s entire ethos, ingredients and design are all geared towards ensuring that those teetotallers, or anyone who doesn’t feel like drinking on a particular occasion, doesn’t get interrogated for their choice. Both bottles feature almost identical graphics on their labels – bar the coloring – and the drinks inside taste virtually the same. Paddy and his team got us to take the PUNCHY Taste Test. I can testify, it is extremely hard to tell the difference between the 4% ABV and non-alcoholic versions.
Not only does PUNCHY appeal to alcohol moderators, but also vegan, sugar-conscious and gluten-free consumers. As consumers focus more and more on their wider health and wellbeing, PUNCHY is hoping to make the decision not to drink an easier one.
Consumers are drinking less, but drinking better
Moderating consumers have a greater drive to try premium, craft products when they do choose to drink. Although in a different alcohol category to PUNCHY, Foresight Factory data shows that over a third of Millennials would rather drink a craft beer than a regular/mainstream beer. We can make a fairly safe assumption that this premium mindset translates to spirits. PUNCHY believe rum is the next area of innovation – Paddy emphasized that this year, for the first time, rum sales are growing faster than gin in the UK.
But then, once they’ve chosen their spirit, consumers are faced with limited options for mixers. These are often mainstream fizzy drinks brands that are sugar-heavy or plain old soda water. This creates a problem for the non-drinkers too, who have a seriously restricted choice of alcohol alternatives. PUNCHY hopes that its punch offers a more exciting way to mix rum, and a tastier alcohol substitute than lime and soda.
What can brands learn from PUNCHY Drinks?
Be inclusive. PUNCHY’s labels are deliberately similar. This is so that consumers don’t feel scrutinized when enjoying the punch in a group setting, as it takes a little more attention to see that the ABV and no-ABV are different. The brand’s ethos is also built around inclusivity – bringing everyone (drinkers and non-drinkers) together with one product.
Offer something new to create more choice. PUNCHY looks to appeal to drinkers who want to be more adventurous in their drinking, both through its flavors and its offering. More established brands can follow the trend for investing in or purchasing smaller craft labels – or creating new brands. Read more about this in our trend Experience Seekers.
Appeal to consumers’ wellbeing motives. Not only does PUNCHY consider the physical effects of its drinks, but also the mental benefits. These all-natural beverages appeal both to those who are mindful of the ingredients they consume, and those who are conscious of alcohol’s impact on their mental health. Read more in our Mastering the Mind trend.
All trends are available for members of Foresight Factory’s platform. Sign up for a demo here.
PUNCHY Drinks took part in The Creative Exchange @ Foresight Factory, where we invite innovators, experts and industry disruptors to share their ideas.