Before Austin-based Dulce Vida Spirits launched its fruit-infused flavored tequilas, the company needed a packaging partner to manage the enormous undertaking of changing the height of its glass bottle. Prime retail shelf location provided for approximately 13.5 inches; Dulce Vida’s stock bottle, with the cork, stood at nearly 14 inches tall.
“Due to the height, our Blanco tequila bottles were relegated to the top or bottom shelf, which is not ideal,” said Richard Sorenson, co-founder, Dulce Vida Spirits and chief operating officer, Milestone Brands, which owns Dulce Vida Spirits. “Our real fruit, real juice-infused flavored tequila was a new approach for the tequila market so this was a significant product refresh. We were going after a broader consumer market and it was critical to change the bottle height to fit on any and all shelves.”
Enter TricorBraun. Led by packaging consultant David Parker, the TricorBraun team managed the complicated process on Dulce Vida’s behalf. The top objectives were sourcing the right glass manufacturing partner in Mexico and redesigning the original Dulce Vida bottle to obtain optimal shelf placement. Additionally, retaining the same “old world style” look while incorporating a new deco element on the bottle front to indicate the tequila flavor was important. The process included reengineering the molds due to the height change, and interfacing with the glass bottle supplier and filler throughout the production process.
“TricorBraun did all of the heavy lifting. As a tequila producer, I work with suppliers in Mexico every day, but if I had to be managing the process with a new glass manufacturer, it would be more than I could handle while trying to run the business”
—Richard Sorenson, Co-Founder, Dulce Vida Spirits
By changing the glass manufacturer and reducing the bottle size, Dulce Vida was able to realize cost efficiencies in the supply chain process. According to Sorenson, due to better positioning on the retail shelf, the bottle height change has led to increased sales and better brand recognition.
“TricorBraun made things happen,” said Sorenson. “David was involved every step of the way and got the right people involved. TricorBraun also has the pulse of what’s going on in the market. David is very attuned to what’s going on in the spirits industry, and the market intelligence he brings is a big help.”
Dulce Vida’s flavored tequilas – lime, grapefruit and pineapple jalapeño – launched nationwide in summer 2016 and are geared toward millennial consumers with disposable income. The company plans to introduce more flavors and is working on two ready-to-drink (RTD) tequila products.
The RTD products mark the third project TricorBraun has helped Dulce Vida with in the last two years; TricorBraun also assisted with American Born flavored whiskey. “We built the molds for the whiskey project,” said Parker. “We’ve had a relationship for more than six years and they trust our expertise, appreciate our resourcefulness and our ability to streamline the process for cost and timeline efficiencies.”