Nectar is the first Asian hard seltzer that features flavors such as Asian Pear, Mandarin, Lychee, and Yuzu. “Whiteclaw Summer” was not just a fad, and the data proves that hard seltzers are here to stay. The global hard seltzer industry is estimated to grow to $10.92 billion by 2027, up from $3.83 billion in 2019. Despite the quantity of emerging hard seltzer brands on the market, Nectar Co-Founders John Dalsey and Jeremy Kim, noticed that every company was launching the same four flavors – black cherry, lime, grapefruit, and mango. What shocked them even more was that no seltzer brand focused on brand storytelling.
What makes Nectar unique is not just the flavors the company offers, but also the brand it has created. One of the strongest differentiators of Nectar’s brand is the music industry approach to marketing. The company’s goal is not to gain customers but to build fans. Nectar has created an entire universe around the brand in which it openly shares how it has taken on huge conglomerates, coming in as underdogs to the crowded seltzer market. Having built an impressive cult following online, Nectar has leveraged the power of social media to create grass-roots movements that have catapulted the brand into popularity. In fact, that’s how they won its first retail stores.
To convince retailers to take a risk on its unproven product, Nectar turned to TikTok. By first creating viral content, gathering data on followers to identify which locations had the highest demand, and presenting the data to two stores in the area, it successfully sold 150 cases to each of the locations. When John and Jeremy showed up to the stores the next day, there were lines of fans circling the block waiting to buy Nectar and they sold out in less than an hour at both locations.
This creative, breakthrough launch moment for Nectar is just one example of how John and Jeremy’s backgrounds complement each other. John, a fully employed MBA student at UCLA Anderson, brings a deep understanding of how to navigate the alcohol industry, having worked in the business for many years. He oversees Nectar’s production and distribution operations, skillfully negotiating favorable deals with co-packers, distributors, and retailers. While most hard seltzer brands are manufactured by the same co-packers, who reuse the same base recipe for most brands of hard seltzers produced, Nectar benefits from John’s expertise, which has allowed it to negotiate deals with co-packers that enables Nectar to use its own proprietary recipe. The end result is a product that is both cleaner and better tasting.
Jeremy oversees marketing for the brand. His music-industry approach to marketing is how they were able to grow a massive fan-base for Nectar with little to no marketing budget. Their customer base is extremely loyal, feel personally invested in Nectar’s brand journey, and is willing to wait in long lines for their product. With the number of available hard seltzers in the market, this is an impressive achievement and asset.
FUNDING AND EXPANSION
Since Nectar launched in December 2020, it has gone from having zero sales, customers, or fans, to now being sold in 250 stores and amassing over 30,000,000 views and 220,000k followers across Instagram and TikTok. Nectar is partnered with the largest co-packer on the West Coast. Throughout the remainder of 2021 Nectar plans on launching with distributors in Hawaii, New York, and Seattle while expanding production to the East Coast for 2022 through another partnership deal with the largest co-packer in North America. In addition, Nectar is currently finalizing another round of funding, raising $3 million on a $14 million cap safe. In the near term, the company plans to continue deepening in its core markets and expanding sustainably into more major metro cities across the U.S.
If you’re interested in trying Nectar for yourself, visit www.nectarhardseltzer.com to purchase from a store near you. Follow their journey @nectarhardseltzer on Instagram and TikTok.