According to a recent report by Market Research Future, the global RTD alcoholic beverages market is projected to garner a 3% compound annual growth rate between 2019 and 2024. The same report says an increase in awareness about the RTD alcoholic beverages is likely to allow the market to reach a worth of $32 billion by 2024.

Within the RTD space, coffee is a big mover thanks to the popularity of cold brew as well as a demand for on-the-go alternatives to traditional energy drinks.

Launched this past July by Fundamental Beverages, LLC, Newground sought to capitalize on coffee’s growing popularity. “Obviously the growth of RTD coffees was at the forefront of our mind in the non-alcohol sector, and we started experimenting with a couple of different groups on developing a product that would match it in the alcohol sector,” explains Rooney.

Newground saw a need in the alcohol sector for hard coffee products and sought to fill it. “You’ve seen the expansion of two of the most popular drinks in the world, coffee, and alcohol, coming together and creating a fusion, and putting money behind this to make it a category,” says Rooney. “When you have a concerted effort within the industry to create a product category, it’s a rising tide that lifts all ships, and it will help educate the consumer.”

The result was a line of high-quality malt beverages infused with real coffee or tea, Dutch cream, and alcohol. Imported from Holland, the product is made to EU standards, which Rooney feels helps to distinguish it. “We really focused on ingredients and having a top-quality product,” he says. “We searched globally for a high-quality malt base, and we found one in Holland.”

Newground uses nitro technology for a perfect pour and smooth taste, and it comes in two varieties: Hard Dutch Cafe Latte and Hard Dutch Chai Latte. Cafe Latte is crafted with caffeine to provide an energizing jolt, and it features rich coffee flavors mellowed by a smooth sweetness. The caffeine-free Chai Latte balances vanilla notes, black tea, and natural spices, all complemented by the zing of alcohol. Both varieties are 5% ABV for sessionable beverages that can be enjoyed on their own or mixed with a harder spirit.

At first glance, a bar owner may think RTD drinks are just another option to add to the cans section of the menu. Think again. Newground can be mixed into cocktails. Rooney says that Newground lends itself well to cocktails like gin fizzes, brunch and dessert cocktails, and even mixed shots. “You get the benefit of the nitro, and so when you go to make something and you shake it over ice, A, it’s not going to explode on you like a carbonated beverage, and B, you get that very soft, decadent mouthfeel that you get from a nitro coffee beverage,” he says.

Rooney also points to the benefit of cost. “When you’re on a per ounce basis, this is about half the cost of another cream liqueur,” he says, explaining that bar managers are lowering costs without sacrificing quality.

The products’ shelf stability also helps to eliminate waste. Since it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, storing it is also easy.

Newground aims to create partnerships with high-end bars to help promote the brand and educate bar staff and consumers. “It doesn’t matter how good it is if you can’t get the consumer to try it, taste it, and understand the use case scenario,” says Rooney.

The brand has hired a dedicated on-premise sales person in every major city where it has distribution. “We believe strongly that the on-premise is where a brand is built. It’s where people can go to really enjoy themselves, have a good time, and have a positive memory with a product,” says Rooney. “So we really believe strongly in supporting on-premise and focusing on on-premise first as we launch this product.”

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