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Shaking up the RTD market with originality and class

We gave business woman Jane Allan a little longer than an elevator ride to pitch Finery, an all natural premium cocktail range.

In 2018, after tidying up her eating habits, reducing her alcohol intake, and switching up her drinking choices, Allan was glowing with newfound energy. She had always been a cocktail lover, but having a lack of time and waking up the next morning with a hangover were factors that made indulging in one difficult. It soon became clear to her that there was a gap in the market for a zero sugar, refreshing premium cocktail, that could be as accessible as a can of beer and would not leave whoever’s drinking it feeling awful the next morning.

And so Finery was born. Formed around leading healthier yet fast-paced lifestyles, the drinks are not designed for overconsumption or excessive drinking. Allan wanted to create cocktails with premium ingredients and careful craft. Although stereotypically placed in the same category as the bulk of Ready-to-Drink (RTD’s), Finery is not like any others within the market.

“No longer do we need to turn up to a BBQ with a box of bottles to mix a couple of drinks for friends and worry about wanting to take the liquor cabinet back home with you again without feeling like you’re being a scrooge.

“We don’t need to tip bottles of wine down the sink when we only wanted a glass, and best of all no foggy head or blocked sinuses from that less than average glass of wine or bubbles,” she says.

Allan hasn’t always been a part of the business world. She had been involved in the building and property industry for 20 years prior, and now in her early forties, decided it was time for a change and wanted to put her knowledge she experienced from her new eating habits and exercise to good use. With the help of her husband Sammo, who runs a design company, and his senior creative Matt, the trio brought Finery to life through packaging design and implementation.

As society is seeing fewer people binge drinking, and those coming of age more inclined not to drink, the timing of Finery couldn’t be any more fitting. Trends suggest that the ‘better for you’ category is popular and Allan hopes the want for craft in her category will also start to grow.

“Unless a consumer has tried us and appreciates the craft, we are not necessarily picked up by first-time buyers. Recommendations are certainly the best marketing tool for a brand like ours.”

The team at Finery have been working all year on new innovative products to run along side their current offering and have recently released online.

“We are absolutely still in our growth phase working on sell-through and growing our following. We are coming up to our first full summer season after launching very softly to market last December, so this will be a really interesting next couple of months.”

Allan’s goal for Finery’s first year on the market was to be stocked in 400 stores nationwide. Due to Covid-19, Finery is currently stocked in 160 stores, however, the goal remains and is a challenge the team is willing to overcome to get to where they need to be. Reputation has been the brand’s biggest success so far, with Finery being considered the most premium in the market.

“My favourite days are when our drinks are in the hands of some of the country’s most talented brewers or winemakers and they are able to taste the complexity. That feels like we have ticked off what our brand is about.”

Looking forward, Allan has Australia and Singapore hot on the radar as distributors. In the meantime, she hopes to build brand awareness in New Zealand towards who Finery is and what Finery is, as well as gain global recognition.

“I would like to consider Finery as being responsible for helping re-shape our nations approach to drinking.

“Being recognised for our approach to lean manufacturing, using sustainable packaging and only premium ingredient will also hold us in good stead for the years ahead. Innovation is key, as is quality.”

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