We caught up with Jess, founder of Twisted Halo to find out how she hopes to change the alcoholic drinks market through her coconut & ginger flavoured vodka drink.
Please don’t make me order another vodka, lime & soda!
Twisted Halo was born from the personal frustration of not knowing what to order when Jess went out. There are very few alcoholic drinks that deliver on low calorie but are also pleasant to drink. Jess couldn’t find any healthier alternatives to sugary cocktails so she set out to create her own alcoholic drinks brands
Who drinks Twisted Halo?
The Twisted Halo consumer is anyone who is looking for an alcoholic drink that fits in with a balanced lifestyle. We are primarily aimed at the female market but also go down well with the guys! If you are looking for a low calorie drink that isn’t laden with sugar but still tastes delicious, then this is the drink for you
Deciding on the final flavour of coconut, ginger and vodka was a long process with lots of recipe testing sessions!
We knew the general base ingredients we wanted to use, but getting the balance right was what took the most amount of time. It was really important that the drink tasted fresh, light and natural. We didn’t want to add sugar so getting the flavours right took a little time. Creating the recipe is a really fun process, in the end you have to listen to your gut instinct and be careful not to get nervous and create a drink which is too bland in the fear of trying to please everyone.
Your packaging is important because it says a lot about the product.
I feel our packaging clearly conveys that the product is fresh, premium and considered. We were actually shortlisted in the Drum Awards for innovative packaging design last year. I used to be an interior design, so for me the design was important. In an age where we are inundated with brands on social media and advertising all day long, we knew that our packaging design had to be iconic. As a challenger brand in the drinks industry, half the battle is getting people interested in your product to want to find out more. How do you encourage someone who doesn’t know about your brand, to pick up your product in the supermarket shelf? Hopefully our packaging design looks intriguing enough to encourage consumers to pick up the bottle and find out more!
“As a challenger brand in the drinks industry, half the battle is getting people interested in your product to want to find out more.”
Getting Twisted Halo stocked on shelves has certainly been a learning curve. It takes time to figure out what works and what doesn’t. We have recently taken on board a sales agency: a big step for us in the right direction! The buying process can be frustrating to get onto the shelves; it is mostly about perseverance, telling a good story and explaining to the buyers what you are going to bring. You need to offer more than just a great product.
With a new brand, you need to not only work out how to get your product on the shelf, but then how you are going to get it off. Figuring out your strategy to create brand awareness and then encouraging people to buy your product is probably harder than getting stocked on the shelves!
Social media is key to our marketing strategy
We want to be a truly social brand. Our target consumer spends a lot of time each day on social media platforms and it is a key focus for us in terms of engaging and advertising. Getting our social media tone of voice has also been a challenge but I think we are finally getting it right! Working with influencers is also a big part of our marketing strategy.
There have been so many career highlights since Twisted Halo began! Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the busy day to day and forget to celebrate the little successes. Getting into Whole foods was one of my milestone goals which felt great. However, the real highlight is seeing people you don’t know buying the product. For me that is an amazing achievement! It is great knowing we have created a product and brand that people are connecting with and enjoying.
I have also learnt so many lessons as an entrepreneur in the wellness industry. I think the biggest lesson has been to not be afraid of lack of knowledge or experience. When I came into the drinks industry, I had zero experience. I didn’t know who the right suppliers to use were, the industry standard pricing structures or even how to approach buyers! I networked a lot early on and wasn’t afraid to call people up and ask to arrange coffee to get some advice. I was surprised at how willing people were to help out, but then again everyone started out in the same position!
“the biggest lesson I’ve learned has been to not be afraid of lack of knowledge or experience.”
There is an increasing demand from consumers for healthier alcoholic drinks. I think that the modern day consumer is much more aware of what we put into our bodies. Now, more than ever, we understand better how to look after our bodies and live a more balanced lifestyle. At the same time, being 100% good all of the time can be boring – we still want to let our hair down on occasions! That is where the demand for healthier alcoholic drinks comes in. We still want to have a drink, but that doesn’t mean it can’t fit into our healthy lifestyle. We think our consumers are much more lifestyle conscious.
We have a lot planned for 2017 – sometimes thinking about what 2017 has in store is a little overwhelming, but then super exciting at the same time. We are looking to manufacture a different packaging format, gain new stockists for retail as well as bars/pubs & restaurants, build brand awareness and also fit in another finance raise as some point! I am genuinely excited to see where the brands goes and what we will achieve in 2017.