Vacay seltzer will follow the sun and is on its way to Europe after a successful inaugural summer at home in Australia – selling three times faster than forecast from October through December.
For Founder James McPhie, Vacay’s success to date comes down to solid product development, Australian consumer appetite for new and healthier beverage options and strong support from on-premise and independent retailers, including Solotel Group, Sydney’s Opera Bar and Chambers Cellars outlets. Vacay will be available at Merivale venues from March.
Following its first summer rollout in Sydney and Brisbane, Vacay has now been licensed for production and distribution in Europe – first stops are Austria, Poland and Germany. Co-founder and CEO, James McPhie will manage global growth with more distribution destinations expected soon.
Award winning sommelier Alex Kirkwood was enlisted by McPhie to develop the low calorie, unique and crisp seltzer, designed to appeal to the Australian palate. He designed four flavours: raspberry, lime, pure and Kakadu plum and promises that more flavours are on their way.
Vacay’s supply chain and operations are run by Amanda Schafer. In January, McPhie signed Single Vineyard Sellers as the exclusive wholesale distributor for Australia, leaving Vacay’s in-house team to handle marketing and activation. .
Founder James McPhie said: “There is no point re-inventing the wheel when we can partner with someone with a good-looking set of wheels.”
McPhie will continue to build distribution across Europe and to find the right pockets for Vacay on the West Coast of the US. According to McPhie, the East Coast is a saturated market. As for Asia, McPhie expects Vacay to arrive there in June.
Of its first Australian summer, Kirkwood said: “Over summer, more bars and mixologists have been using our flavours as mixers with other spirits. The fine and consistent level of carbonation encourages our flavours to pop by themselves, but also adds another level of complexity to mixed drinks with the healthier benefits you can’t find in many other mixers.”
Brewed from a malt base, Vacay is turned into alcoholic water with the artificial colours and preservatives removed, then infused with all-natural ingredients, and then carbonated.