BuzzBallz Expands to Taiwan
As preparation for Lunar New Year celebrations begin, the people of Taiwan will be able to purchase BuzzBallz, a round, single-serve, ready-to-drink cocktail, at participating 7-Eleven stores in the country. BuzzBallz partnered with Uni-President Corporation, a 7-Eleven franchise with a large footprint across Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and The Philippines, to get these single-serve cocktails on the shelves.
All of the following flavors were stocked in stores by December: Strawberry ‘Rita, Lotta Colada, Tequila ‘Rita and Choc Tease.
“We’ve been working on this initiative since spring,” said Derek Dodge, Vice President of International Affairs. “We signed the contract in early September. Our first shipment was in October and the product [arrived] in Taiwan in December. So, all in all, it [took] eight months for the entire program to come together.”
It was important to BuzzBallz to get the product on shelves prior to February 1, Lunar New Year, as it is a holiday that is frequently celebrated among family and friends with alcoholic beverages.
“[Lunar] New Year in Taiwan is about family gatherings with different dinners planned during the week,” said Rodolphe Guillonneau, Manager of Uni-President Corporation’s Global Procurement Office for Lifestyle Brands. “Drinking is, of course, a huge part of the [festivities], as the dinners are followed with lots of talking, playing cards, mahjong, and more.”
According to Guillonneau, convenience for entertaining wasn’t the only reason for Uni-President being interested in the cocktails. He predicted that the colorful packaging would be appealing, particularly prior to Lunar New Year celebrations as many people enjoy incorporating the color red or the colors associated with their zodiac sign in their daily lives during these celebrations.
Though Lunar New Year celebrations are steeped in tradition, Uni-President corporation has seen a shift in drinking culture within the country over the years as more women are increasingly becoming alcohol consumers.
According to The Drink Business, Taiwanese women make up most of the country’s teetotalers due to an aversion to the heavy flavor and bite of spirits and beer, the most commonly consumed alcoholic beverages to this day.
However, a 2018 study from the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation showed that more than half of the female drinkers polled prefer wine, a much smoother alcoholic beverage.
Keeping with his intuition and growing trends in alcohol consumption in Taiwan, Guillonneau felt it was best to market BuzzBallz Cocktails, a smooth, flavor-forward cocktail, to older Gen Z and millennial women.
BuzzBallz Cocktails, which is, coincidently, a woman-owned brand, have the hand-crafted flavor that Taiwanese women have come to enjoy while dining out.
As Guillonneau finalizes plans for marketing these small, brightly-colored cocktails, he’s decidedly chosen to make the innovation, woman-owned status, fun branding and convenience the focus as he seeks out influencer content.
Ahead of the nationwide festivities, he’s partnering with young, female content creators on 7-Eleven product hauls, reviews, roundups and more.
About BuzzBallz, LLC/Southern Champion
BuzzBallz, LLC/Southern Champion is a woman-owned and family-operated distillery, winery and brewery in the state of Texas, which was founded in 2009 as the result of Merrilee Kick’s master’s degree thesis project. Since its inception, BuzzBallz, LLC/Southern Champion has greatly expanded its product base and begun to grow into a worldwide brand. As the only joint distillery, winery and brewery in the US that is woman owned, this company has gained significant recognition, boasting distribution nationwide and dozens of awards. The company maintains a fun brand message as they create high-quality, premixed cocktails, as well as small-batch spirits. Learn more at: http://www.southern-champion.com/ , www.uptowncocktails.com and www.buzzballz.com.
Tia Wines, Marketing Director