How can we enable busy individuals to enjoy a diverse range of quality cocktails effortlessly, considering they often lack the time or means for traditional preparation?
In today's fast-paced society, the traditional method of crafting cocktails presents a significant challenge. This process, requiring multiple ingredients, specialised equipment, and specific skills, is becoming increasingly incompatible with the growing consumer demand for convenience and consistency. Many people, especially in diverse settings outside a conventional bar, find it challenging to create quality cocktails due to a lack of time, resources, or expertise. This has led to a notable gap in the market: the need for a consistent, high-quality, and accessible cocktail solution that aligns with modern lifestyles yet retains the authenticity of the cocktail experience.
The Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated this shift in consumer behaviour. As in-home alcohol consumption habits have evolved, the appeal of convenience has become more pronounced. This trend was highlighted by the growth of the Ready-to-Drink (RTD) sector, which, as reported by The Spirits Business in 2020, was the only alcohol category to see an increase during a period when most others faced challenges. This shift emphasises the growing demand for convenience without compromising quality and a keen interest in culturally diverse and innovative beverage options.
User Pain Points
Conducted a survey and our respondents(17 total), primarily females aged between 21 and 40 revealed that there are three major pain points that stand out based on recent survey data: Complexity in preparation, demand for convenience, and a craving for diverse, quality flavours.
These insights collectively suggest a substantial opportunity for innovation in the cocktail industry, focusing on simplifying the cocktail-making process, enhancing convenience, and diversifying flavour profiles with a nod to quality.
Firstly, many consumers find cocktail preparation complex, struggling with the proper technique, ingredients, and tools. This challenge is accentuated by a strong desire for convenience, as evidenced by 82% of respondents (53% rating convenience as 4 out of 5 and 29% as 5 out of 5) who prioritize easy and accessible cocktail options.
Additionally, there's a pronounced demand for diverse and high-quality flavours. About 65% of participants express a keen interest in new, culturally diverse cocktail flavours, while existing Ready-to-Drink (RTD) options, generally rated around 2 to 3 on a 5-point scale, indicate a significant gap in the market for better-quality offerings.
Our preliminary user research validated the problem statement but also confirmed that there's a notable interest in non-alcoholic options, price sensitivity, and a preference for visual appeal and ease of drinking. The data suggests a gap in non-alcoholic cocktail choices, reflecting a growing segment seeking healthier or alcohol-free alternatives, price sensitivity is evident, with the majority (77%) of consumers willing to pay between $10 and $15 for premium Ready-to-Drink (RTD) cocktails, indicating a balance sought between quality and affordability. Furthermore, the importance of visual appeal and practicality in cocktail consumption is highlighted, with consumers considering the appearance and ease of drinking as key factors.
These trends underscore opportunities for innovation in offering visually appealing, easy-to-consume, and non-alcoholic cocktail alternatives at a moderate price point.
Landing on the Solution
Based on the pain points identified from the user survey, the decision to focus on a product that combines convenience with a diverse and high-quality range of flavours appears well-aligned with consumer demands. This strategy addresses key issues such as the complexity of cocktail preparation and the strong desire for easily accessible and varied cocktail options.
Additionally, the emphasis on quality resonates with the noted interest in premium flavours, meeting the needs of consumers who are eager for new and culturally diverse tastes
Explanation of Solution
Ému's is a line of Ready-to-Drink convenient, high-quality beverages that merge Western and West African flavours, addressing the needs of a fast-paced society. These cocktails offer a hassle-free alternative to traditional cocktail preparation, maintaining the authenticity and consistency of a high-end bar experience.
The brand sets itself apart by emphasizing cultural exchange, featuring diverse global tastes and providing educational value about the cultural origins of each flavour. This innovation taps into the market trends of increasing consumer interest in novel, authentic flavours and the rising popularity of RTD cocktails, especially post-pandemic. Ému aims to cater to busy professionals seeking quality at-home experiences and cultural explorers desiring global flavours.
The initial focus is on creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) designed to meet these consumer preferences by ensuring the cocktail is pre-mixed and ready to serve, the quality of the cocktail rivals that of a drink prepared at a bar,opening and serving the cocktail involves minimal steps like chilling and pouring and the product line of 4 includes two lines of international cocktail flavors. This strategic approach positions Ému not just as a beverage choice but as a culturally enriching experience, filling a unique niche in the beverage market.
Below is a mock-up of what the branding and packaging of Ému can look like
Possible additional problems to address are exploring:
- International Markets: Explore opportunities in international markets, starting with regions with similar consumer behavior and legal environments.
- Product Line Extensions: Based on consumer feedback and trends, introduce new flavours like non-alcoholic, limited editions, or complementary products.
- Partnerships and Collaborations: Partner with event organizers, influencers, and establishments to promote the product and reach a broader audience.
- Sustainability Initiatives: Develop initiatives to enhance the product's sustainability, such as a recycling program or more eco-friendly packaging, which could open up new market segment
Product Manager Learnings:
Participating in this program has been very rewarding. It definitely challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone in the best way possible. Here are some insightful takeaways from exploring this problem space:
- The critical role of user research. It's a powerful reminder that our assumptions about solutions can sometimes be far from what users truly need.
- Jobs are complex and multifaceted. Beyond mere functionality, they often carry significant social and emotional weight.
- Be as specific as possible and prioritize so you don’t try to build for everyone and not for anyone.