By Barbara Harfmann | Managing Editor

As a longtime baseball fan, I’m beyond excited that the Chicago White Sox were in the playoffs once again. In 2005, they won the World Series in dominant fashion 4-0 against the Houston Astros — the same team they faced in the 2021 American League Division Series. Also notable is the fact that the managers of the respective teams, Tony LaRussa, 77, and Dusty Baker, 72, are the oldest managers in MLB with a combined 68 years of managerial experience and 4,703 wins.

Within the beverage industry, an unexpected category seems to be “winning” as well — low or no-alcohol spirits, mocktails and beer.

After cultivating a groundswell in the United Kingdom, no- and low-alcohol spirits brand CleanCo Ventures Ltd., founded in 2019 by entrepreneur Spencer Matthews, inked a deal with newly formed adult drinks company Demeter & Co., which was co-founded by industry veterans Jim Clerkin, former CEO of Americas for Moët Hennessy and Jim Beam, and Jeff Menashe, who founded Demeter Advisory Group, the adult beverage’s leading investment bank.

In October, CleanCo, the first brand in Demeter & Co.’s portfolio, entered the North American market in a move that sets the brand up to achieve sales of more than 50,000 9-liter cases in the U.K. and United States in 2021. The brand's arrival is being elevated with key distribution deals, including with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, which launched the portfolio in seven states including California, Texas and Florida.

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Winning in the market



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Among CleanCo’s non-alcohol products are Clean G, a gin alternative; Clean R, a rum alternative; and flavored Clean G Editions Pink (strawberry gin), Clean T (tequila) and Clean V Spiced Apple (vodka). (Photo by Bao Truong)

CleanCo, the first brand in the newly created adult beverage company’s Demeter & Co., is led by Jim Clerkin, CEO, and CleanCo Founder Spencer Matthews. (Photo by Bao Truong)

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“Every brand we develop is going to be informed by really deep consumer insights and research,” CEO Clerkin explains in a statement. “We have five significant projects right now that we’re working on at various levels in a number of categories. Anywhere we can operate in adult beverage that meets the criteria that we set out — that’s informed by real deep insights from the consumer, that operates in a premium category — we will evaluate very closely, be it still wine, sparkling wine, RTDs, maybe even cannabis-infused.”

"CleanCo is the first example of Demeter & Co's approach to building global adult beverage brands, which involves pushing new boundaries and making a positive impact on culture," added Menashe, co-founder and executive chairman of Demeter & Co.

CleanCo offers a range of full-flavored, non-alcohol alternatives to full strength spirits including Clean G, a gin alternative; Clean R, a rum alternative; and flavored Clean G Editions Pink (strawberry gin), Clean T (tequila), Clean V Spiced Apple (vodka) as well as canned ready-to-drink cocktails that are made using a traditional distillation process, without the hangover or excessive calorie intake, the company says.

In time for the holidays, Mingle Mocktails, a new line of bubbly, low calorie, alcohol-free drinks that are clean crafted with fruit juices and botanicals and no artificial ingredients, are available in five flavors: Cucumber Melon Mojito, Blackberry Hibiscus Bellini, Cranberry Cosmo, Moscow Mule and Blood Orange Elderflower, the newest flavor. Founded by “mon-preneur” Laura Taylor, Mingle Mocktails are a booze-less, refreshing, low-calorie alternative to plain soda and seltzers for those who choose to be alcohol-free, expecting, designated driver or just because, the company says. They are available on Amazon, online or at more than 3,000 retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $9.99-$12.99.

With “Sober October” and other initiatives in place, it’ll be interesting to keep track of the innovation within low- and no-alcohol beverages. BI

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This holiday season, Heineken is spreading cheer over holiday beers by offering consumers a chance to win a lifetime supply of Heineken beer. The campaign, which ends Dec. 31, is part of an on- and off-premise Scan-to-Win consumer engagement promotion designed to encourage consumers to purchase Heineken Original in bottles, cans and 5-liter mini kegs for a chance to win Heineken for life. “Our generous holiday promotion encourages consumers to purchase Heineken Original for their own holiday hosting, and continue hosting for a lifetime,” said TJ Keighley, Heineken brand director, in a statement. “Heineken 12-pack bottles grew 5.4%, and Heineken 5L Draught Keg grew 102.3% last holiday.” By scanning the QR code, consumers can register to win the grand prize lump sum cash payout of $62,400, which is equivalent to one 12-pack a week for 60 years, the company says. Compelling point-of-sale merchandise include a Christmas Tree Display, large bow displays, large 5-liter keg case stackers, holiday bottle Koozies and more.

Cheers to 60 years of beer

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Crown Royal is paying tribute to a new generation of diverse consumers with a new creative approach to the launch of the brand’s latest campaign supporting Crown Royal’s ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails. The campaign shows a range of places and spaces to enjoy the effortless new cocktails, kicking off in a fully immersive block party before taking consumers on a royal journey to a game of pickup basketball, gaming with friends, picnic in the park, and finally to a rooftop hangout.

A whole new world

The ad is airing across CTV, digital, social and OOH and is supported by a fully immersive experiential platform. The cast features Toronto-based, hip-hop artist DijahSB, who is leveraging the ad as the official release of their new track, “So Good,” as well as professional gamer Erin Ashley Simon who recently partnered with the brand on The Crown Crossover. The RTD canned cocktails are available in Washington Apple, Whisky & Cola, and Peach Tea.

The Crown Royal set for its RTD cocktail world was custom created using 3-D printing technology, which was then hand painted and assembled to come alive in the hero ads.

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games in style

Twitch Star Leslie “Fuslie” Fu relaxes in style and comfort in the new Dr Pepper Gaming Chair. North America’s livestream shopping app NTWRK hosted an exclusive giveaway of the limited-edition gaming chair with built-in refrigerator for easy access to Dr Pepper. Inspired by the soft drink’s unique boldness, the gaming chair features a built-in refrigerator which holds 18 12-ounce cans, the company says. Specially designed to make gaming sessions more comfortable and convenient than ever before, the Dr Pepper + Fuslie Gaming Chair is an ultra-exclusive drop with only 20 custom chairs available to fans. The custom chair includes Fuslie’s personal touches, featuring her signature and icon, as well as anime artwork she co-created with a friend depicting her drinking a Dr Pepper with the brand’s iconic “The One You Deserve” message.

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The guessing game of which celebrity cannabis brand is the best is over. Sponsored by Hellapaxx and Smoke on The Water, the Top 10 rankings were formulated by a collective of cannabis influencers and insiders with authentic customer input and special attention to culture, the companies say. “When it comes to celebrity brands, we took our time to understand every celebrity's vision for the brand with attention to the quality of the flower and products,” said CampNova’s Co-founder Marvin Wilcher in a statement. “We know there are more brands out there, but these 10 are our favorites so far."

The Top 10 celebrity weed brands are:

  • Fryday Kush by Ice Cube
  • Mirayo by Carlos Santana
  • GAS by 2 Chainz
  • Garcia Hand Picked by Jerry Garcia
  • Cookies by Berner
  • Monogram by Jay-Z
  • Cann featuring Gwyneth Paltrow
  • 7 Leaves by Matt Barnes
  • GKUA by Lil Wayne
  • Gary Payton with Cookie Collaboration

From Los Angeles-based CampNova’s list of best celebrity weed brands from pro-athletes, actors and influencers.

Did You Know ...



November 2021    |

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