From Idea To Tesco Shelves In Two Short Years

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Three years ago the founders of HappyDown™ had an idea for a ready to drink crafted cocktail that could go global. That idea started to become a reality in summer 2017 when the low ABV drink launched in Morrisons stores nationwide. After only two months in Morrisons, distribution has already doubled with the announcement that Tesco is now stocking HappyDown™ nationally. The brand is also currently speaking to several other major supermarkets about full national listings.

With a listing with Amazon and Ocado secured recently, the brand is also currently speaking to several other major supermarkets and convenience retail about full national listings. HappyDown™ has also received two global awards: a Silver each at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (2018) and at Global Spirits Masters (2017) that proves the brands credentials in their industry.

This all goes to show what can be achieved when the right people create the right product at the right time. A lot of people have been involved in the meteoric rise of HappyDown™, from industry contacts to one of the best flavour houses in the U.K., but it is the founders, Paritosh Bhandari and Vishal Mair, who made the initial leap of faith. Leaving their high-paying corporate jobs was a risky move, involving a certain amount of instability (for Paritosh especially, who spent 10 months living in Airbnbs as he travelled the world in search of the winning formula).

The move was a calculated one, however, as both founders bring a huge amount of relevant experience to the table. Paritosh is an award winning marketer having spent 10 years in the drinks industry launching and managing global brands in India, such as Peroni and Fosters. For his work with HappyDown™ it is not surprising therefore that he recently won the UK Government’s “Global Entrepreneur Program”. He also launched India’s first super premium vodka, Artic Vodka, and super premium whisky, Rockford Reserve Whisky, starting by himself and then building the team and business up from scratch.

Vishal meanwhile has spent much of his career consulting, often for well known beverage brands at market entry.

Both men knew, from day one, that they never wanted to limit themselves by creating an
Indian brand for the Indian market or an Indian brand for the world market; they wanted to create a global brand that would work anywhere. They had witnessed the shift towards more natural, craft products, but also the trend amongst millenials and Gen Z to drink less. For those who wanted that moderate drinking experience, however there were not many great tasting options available.

This is how the idea of HappyDown™ was born and its home was the white space within the premix category. In Tesco previously, for instance, you would find own brand gin & tonic, rum & cola and other standard mixer options, as well as a few very sugary alcopops. There was no beverage containing natural ingredients, that was low ABV and which had adult oriented flavour combinations. The HappyDown™ product solved that problem and was given a further sophisticated edge through the infusion of herbs and spices to create three unique and exciting alcoholic drinks: Lychee & Guava infused with Chilli , Lemon & Cucumber infused with Mint and Raspberry & Pomegranate infused with Basil .

Not overwhelmingly complex, but also not prohibitively simple, HappyDown™ is the perfect contemporary cocktail for modern moderate drinkers on the go. Not only are the flavours delicious and refreshing, but each 330ml can is only 4% ABV. Its unique and innovative offering is surely why the brand has experienced such a meteoric rise. For a start up that is only one year old to see their product on the shelves of Tesco within two months of launching is unheard of and sets the tone for their continued growth.

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