Travis Scott has become yet another celebrity to release a line of alcoholic beverages with his new drink, Cacti. It’sa hard seltzer that comes in three flavours lime, strawberry, and pineapple.The release has been getting some serious hype online and it shouldn’t be that confusing as to why. Scott has been a successful marketer in the last few years becoming especially prevalent after his promotion with McDonald’s. The McDonald’s promotion went so well that its popularity caused ingredient shortages nationwide in the US! With the Cactus Jack branding all over the McDonald’s menu it stands to reason that we may see Scott’s Cacti beverages see a similar kind of success.
The Cacti drinks have already seen online stocks empty and the only currently available stock can be found at a few selected outlets. So it seems the drinks are already a smash hit but this may just be due to the initial hype. Sales may decrease over time as more customers try the drink and ultimately decide its fate. Time will tell.
The Cactus Jack meal was a smash success upon its release too, but it is difficult to judge its long-term success given that it was a limited time offer. To compare the two products, the initial hype comes from the same place, Scott himself. His name being attached to a McDonald’s product was strange enough to warrant curiosity. That was all it needed to be a hit because really, it’s just a quarter pounder meal with bacon added. Not exactly a new product.
Controversy also contributed to the Cactus Jack meal’s success. Many franchisees were not pleased about having to add an item to their menu associated by a person like Travis Scott. McDonald’s is a family restaurant and many franchise owners believe that Scott is a poor influence on kids given his music’s typical subject matter of illicit drugs and partying. What these franchisees seem to forget is that this is what the kids they’re serving are listening to. Complaining about it only serves to ensure kids will want it more, ‘This ain’t the McDonald’s meal your parents eat!’
But Cacti is a new product emerging without the help of an already well-established brand.
Scott’s foray into the hard seltzer market makes more sense than the McDonald’s collaboration. For starters, it’s alcohol, something already associated with Scott’s lifestyle and something that features prominently in his music. Second, like it or not, a large part of his fanbase are young women and girls and do you know what else is popular with young women? Hard seltzer. It doesn’t taste like alcohol and it’s low in calories. It isn’t rocket science.
The biggest brand in hard seltzer right now is White Claw. Introduced in 2015, the White Claw brand has become incredibly successful in a very short amount of time. Sales of White Claw have been increasing at a triple-digit annual rate since 2016. The brandnow dominates the US with a 60% share of the hard seltzermarket. It’s initial popularity was so unexpected that it saw nationwide shortages in the US.
Scott seems to be after a slice of the hard seltzer pie and why not? White Claw is an incredibly young brand. As such,they haven’t been established long enough for their market share to be completely secure. New brands, like Cacti, have enough hype surrounding them that it would only be too easy for them to steal some of White Claw’s market share.
On top of this, Scott has tie-in merchandise for the launch of Cacti. The Cactus Jack brand has become recognisable through its colour motifs and retro aesthetic that can give the Cacti launch that additional edge it needs to establish itself in the market.
Time will tell how this venture goes but there is reason to be confident about its ability to sell well. What if it tastes bad? Well in the alcoholic beverage market it seems to matter less if something tastes good as long as it looks cool. White Claw achieved that with its very aesthetically pleasing packaging. Also, it’s seltzer water, how bad could it really taste?