brand and bottle
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 3, 2012 10:13 AM
Bethenny Frankel may have been a housewife a few years back when she starred in the reality shows Real Housewives of New York and Bethenny Getting Married, but she got hot and heavy into business now with her Skinnygirl cocktail brand before selling it to Beam last year.
Now she must be pretty proud mama of the business she founded, which is expanding into cleanses and workouts to become a lifestyle brand — the drinks company was the fastest-growing brand of spirits in America last year, according to Technomic research (via MSNBC).
The company had a .388 percent increase in sales last year, Technomic reports. Skinnygirl started out by just selling a premixed margarita and now has "four lines of premixed cocktails with four flavored vodkas and three wines debuting nationally this month."
What’s so different about Skinnygirl that’s helped it make the financial jump? Well, it is a lower-calorie option than other cocktail mixes — and it has a high-profile founder with a Bravo reality TV series (and new book out this week, a self-referential novel called Skinnydipping) who's continually in the headlines. “The business last year dramatically overperformed our expectations so that was a delight,” said Deb Boyda, mixables general manager at Beam, according to MSNBC.
These numbers come despite the fact that Whole Foods stopped selling the stuff last September because it had a preservative in it “that didn’t meet our quality standards,” the site notes. Frankel refuted the report as hogwash.
“We would not sell anything that I don’t personally drink,” Frankel wrote, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “I’m a natural foods chef and health is a top priority for me and my family.” She also noted that the brand was made with natural ingredients and “its label is consistent with U.S. federal regulations.”
The controversy certainly didn’t hurt sales. And not too many brand managers are going to argue with that.