Market Research Record – In a crowded landscape of canned cocktails, Gay Water is set to make a bold statement as the ultimate anti-Bud Light choice. Launching this Thursday, Gay Water is a vibrantly colored vodka and soda beverage that fearlessly embraces and supports the LGBTQ+ community, in stark contrast to recent instances of corporate backpedaling. Spearheaded by its creator, Spencer Hoddeson, a gay man determined to foster representation in the industry, Gay Water stands tall as one of the few openly queer-owned alcohol brands.
Breaking the Silence Addressing a key issue that plagued Bud Light, Hoddeson emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s core audience and maintaining open communication with them. Gay Water takes a different approach, unapologetically displaying its commitment to inclusivity and unyielding support for the LGBTQ+ community. Named after a colloquialism used within the gay community for the popular mixed drink (vodka and soda), the brand proudly reclaims the word “gay” from any negative connotations it may have.
Fueling Representation Inspired by a lack of representation within the beverage industry, Hoddeson conceived the idea of Gay Water during a vacation with a friend who worked in the same sector. Burnt out from his traditional tech job, he took the plunge into creating this canned cocktail, determined to fill the void in the market. With a strong social media following on TikTok and Instagram, Hoddeson leverages his reach and support to help fund Gay Water, while enlisting a queer designer to create its captivating packaging, drawing inspiration from ’90s Nickelodeon shows and pop art.
More than Rainbows and Unicorns Gay Water is an inclusive brand, striving to represent the LGBTQ+ community without resorting to clichés. Embracing its status as an umbrella term, the brand invites allies and straight individuals to be part of the community it aims to build. Initially, the product is available mostly online, with a few select retailers offering four sugar-free flavors at launch: watermelon, lime, peach, and grapefruit. Six-packs of a single flavor are priced at $18.25, while 12-packs with a variety of flavors cost $36.50.
Timing Is Key Despite the saturated market, Hoddeson believes that Gay Water’s unique focus on its audience and community sets it apart from the competition. As premixed cocktail sales surged 36% last year, amounting to a $2.2 billion industry, Gay Water enters the space with enthusiasm. With the growing popularity of spirit-based drinks, like High Noon, Gay Water aims to make a lasting impact by offering a cultural and emotional connection that stands out from mainstream offerings.
Inclusivity and Niches in the Spirits Market While Gay Water may not have the financial backing of industry giants like White Claw, it embraces its status as an underdog and sees potential in carving out its niche. Analysts agree that spirit-based seltzers and premixed cocktails are thriving across all scales, and Gay Water’s unique emotional connection can attract consumers seeking more than just another generic flavor. This brand is set to offer an exciting alternative for the queer community in a market predominantly dominated by straight-coded brands.
A Queer Revolution in the Making Gay Water is not alone in its mission to cater to the queer community. Other brands like Gay Beer and So Gay Rosé also strive to create spaces where inclusivity thrives. Unlike Bud Light, which sought to acquire queer customers without truly understanding them, there is a genuine desire among consumers for brands that genuinely support and connect with the LGBTQ+ community.
In conclusion, Gay Water is a trailblazing canned cocktail brand that celebrates diversity, inclusion, and representation. With its proudly inclusive approach, unique flavors, and passionate advocacy, Gay Water is set to make waves in the spirits market, proving that embracing diversity is not only the right thing to do but also a recipe for success.