10M YouTuber followers and 250K units sold in launch month – introducing Grog, the viral RTD

October 26, 2023
By Melissa Parker

Australia’s popular alcohol YouTubers Chad Roberts and Max Stanley of Cold Ones have launched a premix drink, Grog – a locally made, Japanese and Aussie fusion RTD distilled and canned in Victoria using a blend of Aussie and Japanese ingredients.

The Cold Ones podcast first launched on YouTube in 2018, hosted by Chad Roberts and Max Stanley. The Cold Ones is followed by almost 10M fans worldwide with 297M lifetime views on YouTube. Their content centres around drinking, trying new and expensive alcoholic drinks, products and food challenges.

A month since its release, Grog has sold over 250K units and 1000 tickets to the Cold One’s sold-out Grog launch party in 27 minutes.

Flying the flag as the independent underdog, Cold Ones hopes to challenge international industry giants with Grog’s unique and flavour-packed alternative to seltzer –

Inspired by Japanese soft drinks, Grog is made with shochu, vodka, and soda in grape or peach flavour. While the YouTubers say the RTD is packing a serious flavour punch, its 6% alcohol formula is also low-calorie with zero added sugar.

“We’ve spent years testing and reviewing alcohol on our Cold Ones channel but found we were never completely satisfied. The only drinks that ever came close were the ones we found in convenience stores on trips to Japan, but even those we felt could be improved when made locally,” said Stanley.

Despite their loyal following of over 10M people worldwide, the process of bringing Grog to life wasn’t without its challenges, with many prospective brewery partners turning them down.

“In the beginning, we approached a number of big breweries, and the general consensus was that they didn’t take us seriously and didn’t believe we had the selling power. They were happy to put our names on their already established flavours, but we didn’t want that; we wanted a drink that felt true to us, so we did it on our own terms,” said Chad.

Fueled by rejection, Roberts and Stanley set out to bring Grog to life themselves, developing the hard Japanese soda recipe, flavour profile and design on their own and leaning on established

alcohol label 80Proof to scale distribution. Max and Chad are stocking 1000+ independent bottle shops with Grog at the end of October.

Peach and Grape will be available in a mixed pack of 8 for $44.99 and single flavour 16 packs for $83.99 from independent liquor stores in Victoria from October 20, and in remaining Australian states from November.

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