Cocktails & Spirits

Liquor Pouches: Not for Marsupials

There's a new product at your local liquor store for the over 21 crowd, who are...on the go, and for the rest of us who are too lazy to mix our own drinks. Along with Smirnoff, Arbor Mist, and others -- a New Orleans firm, Cordina, is selling an alcoholic beverage in a pouch.

The company was started by three enterprising young men who were on a quest to make big bucks. No really, they admit that big bucks was their only goal. After seeing kids drink up Capri Sun juices with straws at the beach they decided that alcoholic beverages in pouches would delight adult drinkers.

Craig Cordes and brothers Antonio and Sal La Martina created the on-the-go cocktail in a pouch. Since their initial multi-million dollar concept about 4 years ago, their product has caught on in 45 states so far. Now distributed in South Florida for $1.99 each, the adult booze includes the "Mar-Go-rita," the strawberry "Daiq-Go-ri," and the "Pina-Go-lada."

Craig Cordes, co-founder/CFO said, "We haven't been big distributors in Florida yet but we'll be there soon. People are not familiar with our product. People are creatures of habit but we're getting our reps to get the word out to retail stores. Our product will be in Walmart and Walgreens very soon."

The newest 2012 addition to the beverage invention is the watermelon "Mar-Go-rita" and the latest mix is the "Choc-Go-lada". A liquor store attendant (Walgreens, NW 27th Ave. & 79th St., Miami), said, "We put the pouches on shelves with the cold beer and it's selling pretty good. It's new and I guess people like it because we're always refilling the shelves."

According to Ad Age, sales of the drinks have jumped 153 percent in the year that ended in June. Big and small players alike now produce them. Grocery store sales are booming. Liquor giant Diageo distributes Parrot Bay and Smirnoff brands. Ten ounces sells for around $1.99, the magazine said.

According to developers of the products, a flexible pouch is squeezable, economical and safe. Use it anywhere. It's convenient and disposable and saves on packaging and shipping costs. Throw the Go-ables into a gym bag, purse or for thirsty night owls, into a bra or undies to get through the velvet ropes undetected. Hiding the goodies might save you some bucks if you don't want to pay for high-priced drinks at the lounges, providing of course you can manage to successfully fool the burly bouncers.

Though some have complained of a slight chemical after-taste, creators of the product insist that the pouches only contain 6% alcohol per volume and are made from various fruit juices and wine products. The nutrition facts on the outside of the pouches more or less corroborate their claims.

Campbell Soup Co. and H.J. Heinz Co., are "pouching" too. Expect to find Heinz ketchup pouches on your grocery shelves. Campbell labs are launching Go Soup in pouches starting with some favorites such as Thai green curry chicken.

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Marguerite Gil