Tag Archives: #smallbiz

Social Lite: A Canadian Cocktail’s Journey from a Local Kitchen to Store Shelves

kbarrett   November 7, 2017


  Social Lite Vodka is a canned vodka soda cooler that was invented in a Canadian kitchen.¬† Founders Kevin Folk and Dan Beach found an untapped niche in the vodka cooler market and filled the need for healthier, sugar free alternatives. Kevin and Dan are your regular guys who prior to the creation of Social Lite, do not hail from the beverage industry. Their success in getting a product they created at home on to store shelves is quite an amazing feat considering all their competitors are large corporations with marketing budgets to match. They met while studying engineering at the University of Guelph. After graduation, Kevin went on to work as an Electrical Construction Project Manager. Dan obtained an MBA and worked as a Business Analyst for Deloitte and BMO. These entrepreneurs both lead active lives, running ultra marathons and playing ultimate frisbee. Socializing and drinking alcohol doesn’t lend well to a healthy workout routine. Who wants to go train for a marathon with a hangover? But the passion for exercise doesn’t mean precluding a social life. Dan and Kevin became pretty proficient in mixing their own vodka sodas, and serving them to their friends. Why are mixed drinks on the market loaded with sugar and calories? Their kitchen-created cocktails amazed their friends because they actually tasted great without adding sugar, or anything artificial for that matter. You may be surprised to know that companies that sell alcoholic beverages are not required to provide an ingredients list or the nutritional breakdown on their products. The number one cooler sold in the LCBO contains 33 grams of sugar and two hundred plus calories per can. Social Lite on the other hand contains zero sugar with only eighty calories per can – and it is also gluten free. Another important marker between Social Lite and other pre-made vodka coolers on the market is colour. Social Lite does not add artificial colour. I am going to examine how Social Lite¬†entered the market, how their supply chain works and uncover lessons for future prospective entrepreneurs.