In 2018, a vision emerged in a Long Island kitchen that would soon revolutionize a virtually non-existent category: spirit-based RTDs. Ryan Laverty and Sal Campisi, the dynamic duo behind VIDE, embarked on an entrepreneurial journey that saw their spirit-based canned cocktails evolve from a local sensation to a nationwide name.
In 2018, spirit-based RTDs were in their infancy stages. Much of the categorical allure resided in “spiked seltzers’, or malt-based sugar beers that served as a flavored and lighter alternative to traditional beers. Campisi and Laverty set out to create something new- a ready-to-drink category that used real spirits and wasn’t laden with carbs and sugar. And their angle? Transparency.
Even to this day, nutritional panels and ingredients aren’t required to be advertised on spirit-based products. Campisi and Laverty opted to change the status quo, and put both the nutritional panel and ingredients on the can where it belongs. Something no players were doing at the time.
The journey kicked off in the summer of 2018, as Laverty and Campisi passionately crafted the early iterations of what would become the hallmark of their inventive project. Marketing VIDE cans on the streets of Manhattan from their backpacks, they witnessed the immediate appeal of their transparent, sugar-free, sessionable concoctions. The positive reception from friends and the public marked the beginning of something extraordinary.
A subtler version of many malt-based seltzers, and made with real vodka? People were intrigued. It took some time, but people started demanding real spirits and transparency from their canned beverages.
As the founders navigated the complex landscape of the beverage market, VIDE’s commitment to excellence became evident. The brand rapidly expanded, making a splash in New York City and capturing the attention of consumers with its active and fun brand personality coupled with uniquely subtle flavored liquid.
From those early days in the kitchen, VIDE soon found its place on the shelves of major retailers like Costco and Whole Foods and over 3,000 independent retailers nationwide. The brand even impressively landed a partnership with the New York Islanders — gaining access to distribution in the brand new UBS Arena in Long Island, New York.
What sets VIDE apart is not just the quality of its beverages but the ethos that accompanies each can. The brand symbolizes good times and responsible indulgence, offering cocktails that boast a mere 99 calories, zero sugar, and zero carbs. VIDE’s signature slim and sleek cans have become a beacon for those seeking a delightful and guilt-free drinking experience. It began dominating the Manhattan market and caught the eye of Olivia Culpo. The model, actress and entrepreneur joined VIDE as a financial investor in 2021 and continues to champion VIDE as an advisor.
“I met Sal and Ryan a few years ago and I respected their vision for the brand and their tenacity”, said Culpo, “This strategic partnership with Next Century Spirits will help unlock new growth opportunities in the category.”
The entrepreneurial journey of Laverty and Campisi is a testament to their vision, determination, and the ability to translate an idea into a thriving business. The challenges of scaling a beverage company were met with strategic decisions and a relentless pursuit of excellence.
The pinnacle of VIDE’s journey came with news this week of a strategic partnership that would propel the brand to new heights. In a groundbreaking move, Next Century Spirits, a powerhouse spirits portfolio company out of Raleigh, North Carolina, took a minority stake in VIDE, infusing resources to fuel further growth.
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with VIDE ready-to-drink cocktails,” said Anthony Moniello (Co-Chief Executive Officer at Next Century Spirits). “I’ve been so impressed with VIDE’s growth thus far and I love its tequila-based cocktails. We see the tequila-RTD sector as an underdeveloped category where we have a strong opportunity to scale growth, so this partnership gives us an opportunity to work together to become leaders in the space.”
This partnership marked a transformative moment, turning VIDE from a promising startup into a real player in the industry. A quickly growing portfolio business themselves, Next Century Spirits serves as the perfect strategic partner for VIDE, with high aspirations for the evolving ready-to-drink category.
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