The company’s three founders, Justin Fenchel, Brad Schultz, and Aimy Steadman, leveraged their beverage industry backgrounds to create a 'portable party punch' brand that served as an alternative to boxed wine, beer, and malt beverages.
“Boxed wine was always there, but we felt that it didn’t really taste very good and wasn’t marketed to the 80 million millennials that were looking for something different,” Justin Fenchel told BeverageDaily.
The startup began by filling empty Franzia bags with vodka, Crystal Light, and cranberry juice, and started bringing the alcoholic concoction to parties.
Beatbox was founded in Austin, Texas, as 'the world's tastiest portable party punch, for those who are determined to beat boring'
“People started to pay us for this makeshift product and that’s when we knew we were onto to something,” Fenchel said.
The team of three learned that they could not use a distilled hard liquor due to federal law that prohibited the packaging of distilled spirits in more than 1.75 liter containers. The formula was switched to a strong 11.1% ABV wine that tastes similar to a spirit, according to Fenchel.
The first product they launched was a five liter bag in box portable party punch sold for approximately $20 at retail.
Shark Tank opportunity
BeatBox then began distribution with Republic National, but it was the startup’s televised appearance on Shark Tank that provided the exposure and investment needed to expand nationally.
Cuban invested $1m in BeatBox for 10% equity and at at that point it was “off to the races,” Schultz said.
“His [Cuban's] biggest advice to us was that we were going too slow and we needed to go faster and do things that were going to put us in front of thousands of people, not hundreds of people,” Steadman said.
Since that investment, the company has expanded its distribution to HEB, 7-11, WalMart, and Ralphs across multiple US states.
Single serve Tetra Pak format
The company recently launched its BeatBox MixTape, a 500ml Tetra Pak resealable package currently available in two flavors: Fruit Punch and Blue Razzberry with an SRP between $2.99 and $3.49.
“For someone who doesn’t necessarily want to commit to $20 for something [BeatBox’s 5 liter ‘party-in-a-box’] that they haven’t tried, that $2.99 $3.49 price point gives so many people the opportunity to just try the product,” Schultz said
Creating a lifetime consumer
BeatBox Beverages launched as an alcoholic beverage brand targeted at millennials but has adopted an inclusive “core-to-more” marketing strategy with the guidance from celebrity entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek.
“We’re going through a huge packaging overhaul so everything you start seeing is going to be more inclusive and not necessarily targeted at a specific age,” Schultz said. “It’s not an age thing, it’s an experience thing,”
The company aims to integrate itself into more music festivals and sports events that it hopes will strengthen its brand awareness in front of a global audience.
“If you look at the way music festivals are; they’re now global and it’s the same product being brought out there,” Schultz said.
“We definitely think there is an opportunity there [globally] but we want to perfect it here in the US.”