COVID-19 has a great impact on the global economy. The beverage industry isn‘t an exception. What it takes or small companies and startups to deal with rising obstacles? Today, I have the pleasure of talking with Raissa de Haas, twin co-founder of Double Dutch Drinks.
The current climate with COVID-19 has thrown us a curveball. It’s probably one of the most challenging times for Double Dutch at the moment. We rely on on-trade for 70% on our business, and this has now gone on lock-down, so we have had to pivot our business model really quickly.
We have begun to offer our product directly to the consumer on our new Shopify site. Our team has undertaken a lot of back-end work to get this up and running, but it has given us the opportunity to offer three custom packs that can be delivered straight to the customer’s door.
Our ‘Isolation Pack’ pack, for example, is designed to help people treat themselves while they are at home, and includes 10 Double Dutch flavors, alongside Hand Sanitser, Hand Cream and a little candle. Our ‘Family Fun Pack’ includes board games and a Cucamelon growing pack alongside 10 bottles of Double Dutch and some mini spirits to encourage families to enjoy this time they are spending together.
Finally, our ‘Virtual Party Pack’, for those who are connecting with their friends online, includes plenty of Double Dutch tonics, party games, garnishes, snacks and even some branded Double Dutch glasses! We expect the consumer appetite for our best-sellers such as ‘Cucumber & Watermelon’ and ‘Pomegranate & Basil’ to mimic these flavors’ popularity with the on-trade. It’s an exciting new avenue for us!
We are also really concentrating on our social content at the moment, as there is a surge in popularity for IG Live videos. To keep our customer-base stimulated during isolation, we will be hosting ‘Tonic Time’ – weekly virtual Happy Hour sessions on Instagram Live. Our ‘6 Questions at 6 pm’ will take the form of quick-fire interviews with a whole host of experts from the worlds of business, food, drink, art and design. We will discover what their ‘quarantine’ necessities are, as well as their survival tips during lock-down. It’s going to be a fun interview series that will hopefully boost people’s spirits (pun intended)! The first Live session starts Thursday 2nd April.
This will be followed with our #justthetonic content on Fridays at 6 pm. We are inviting people to tune in to Instagram and Facebook for make at home cocktail recipes that make use of those store cupboard ingredients and spirits that our audience might not know what to do with. If cocktails can’t get us through this strange time, what will!
It’s been a real change for us, as we generally operate from a central-London office, but luckily we have a great team around us who are all working remotely. It’s been amazing to see how our team has really come together to deal with the current situation, and we are really proud to call them our Double Dutch family.
I think the key is in the content we are putting out and the image we are projecting. Now more than ever, people need to be reminded that life carries on – even if we are all limited to our four walls, there is still a whole world out there and new people with new stories. We hope that our Tonic Time interview series will go a long way to cheering our audience up, as well as offering lessons and things to consider for the future, when we can finally go outside again!
Establishing a strong on-line presence via e-commerce and social media has been paramount as a result of this crisis, and something for start-ups to make a top priority. I believe the drinks community has really come together during this time.
We don’t look at our competition anymore as competitors but as our peers, as we are all going through this together! At the moment there has been a lot of support groups set up via channels such as LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Slack and Facebook for businesses to seek support and advice.
This quieter time is a great opportunity for businesses to conserve cash flow and build partnerships with other like-minded companies in order to hit the ground running when things return to normalcy. Start-ups can use this time to develop their business plans, scenario plan and get creative with their ideas as almost everything has moved on-line and virtually.
Keeping a close eye on daily developments and what measurements the government and other large companies are implementing to support small businesses will really have an impact on how businesses and start-ups weather this storm. For example, the government’s Coronavirus job retention scheme, and companies such as Facebook and Google are now offering small businesses relief in the form of ad credits and grants.
For more information visit Double Dutch’s website.