8O8 Drinks Company
Whisky - but not as you know it. Whisky Remixed.
Every generation needs its own identity, its place in history, its reason to exist, its revolution. Every generation needs an 8O8.
Co-founders of ‘The 8O8 Drinks Company’, TommyD and Paul Pullinger, set about creating a signature whisky blend to define today's music loving generation. 8O8 was born; with all the heritage, depth, and soul of a classic Scotch but shaped for the 21st century and, like its drum machine namesake, with the catalyst to spark a revolution.
“I wanted to make a whisky from the ground upwards, for my world - the funky, sexy world of nightclubs and music.” TommyD - Music Producer and DJ.
Utilising our solid musical credentials, 8O8 is proving a hit, allowing whisky to be drunk by people who don't normally drink it, in places it's not normally drunk, and recruiting a whole new generation of whisky lovers in the process.
We are very pleased to offer the following incentives for investors in this round:
£50 - £499
Membership to the 8Fam, with exclusive information on all our worldwide events.
£500 - £1,999
Membership to the 8Fam, with exclusive information and early bird booking for all our worldwide events. 20% off website orders for a year.
Membership to the 8Fam, with exclusive information and free access to all our worldwide events. 20% off website orders for 3 years.
All the above plus 30% off website orders for 5 years.
Launching in 2015, 8O8 has bucked the traditional whisky trend and focused on breaking through music, proving a big hit in some of the world’s greatest and most prestigious clubs and bars. This ties in well with our target market of predominantly 21-35 year olds, both male and female.
Blended at the North British distillery in Edinburgh, one of the leading grain whisky producers, the 8O8 team have created a revolutionary whisky that works brilliantly, both as a smooth and delicious neat serve, but also working perfectly in cocktails.
“I think this is a brilliant way of getting people into the Scotch category... It has a lovely creaminess but still has those sets of flavours that set it apart from a white spirit, yet it gets to play in a lot of the arenas that white spirits get to play in." - Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Ryan, International barman 2015 (Tales of the cocktail).
Jack Daniels and Jägermeister became music legends for a bygone age, and 8O8 is becoming the pre-eminent signature drink for today’s music loving generation.
Substantial accomplishments to date
• Listings in some of the key music based venues in the UK (Ministry of Sound, Fabric, Motion, Stealth, Sub Club, Hippodrome, Proud Group, Strongroom) and in Spain (Blue Marlin, Cafe Mambo, Ibiza Rocks, Privilege and Razzamatazz).
• Listings in over 50 events, including Bestival, We Are Festvl, Eastern Electrics, Last Days of Shoreditch, LWE Events, as well as Ascot and 20/20 Cricket.
• One of the best ever launches of a new alcohol brand at Selfridges.
• Large online presence, especially with millennials - over 53k Facebook followers, and 200k Twitter impressions from December '16 to March '17.
• The Independent named us as one of the top 10 whiskies in the world.
• We have received glowing reviews from drinks and music journalists alike.
• We have hosted a number of key events including the backstage VIP at Lovebox festival, the Music Producers Guild awards, the launch of controversial street artist Endless exhibitions, the launch of flamboyant fashion designer Daniel Lismore's collections. We have also hosted parties for world renowned DJs such as Maceo Plex and others.
• Investors include the Ong family of Singapore (Como hotels, NOBU), Alex Chesterman (Founder and CEO Zoopla), Simon Moran (SJM Promotions, V Festival), Max Lousada (CEO and MD of Warner Music UK), Alan Miller (Chairman of the Night Time Industries), David Rae (Ex MD of the North British Distillery).
• We are now listed in multiple key wholesalers throughout the UK, including Matthew Clark, Venus and Co., Latin Spirits, Speciality Drinks, Furniss Roe and Nicholls, and Masters of Malt.
We sell our whisky direct to distributors, venues and retail, focusing on music based outlets and creative cocktail establishments.
We're establishing a brand that can be trusted, with the intention of bringing further products down the pipe at a later stage. In the future, we aim to establish a chain of bars to showcase our branding and give consumers direct access to the 8O8 experience of whisky and music.
Through our strong whisky heritage at Board level, we have high-level access to quality grain whisky, which can be purchased as a draw down stock for 8O8, or traded accordingly.
Unlike traditional whisky brands that rely on their own distilleries to create their liquid, we buy in from third-party sources. This allows us enormous flexibility, not only in terms of volume, but we expect will also allow us to overcome territories with crippling duty regimes, yet fantastic, established whisky markets, such as Brazil. We expect that this will allow us to compete on 'local' terms, selling at competitive prices.
We also believe that 8O8 merchandising has the potential to be a major income source.
Use of proceeds
With the funds from the round, we plan to:
- Build local teams and soft launch in France, Croatia, Singapore, and several States in the US, to make us a truly global brand.
- Expand our UK and Spanish sales and marketing teams, in order to gain a more concentrated focus on regional trade, as well as expand into retail.
- Create an essential packaging display option for retail.
- Create a club serve presentation to encourage sales in bottle venues.
- Focus a targeted marketing and social media campaign to expand our community.
- Restructure operational and marketing aspects of the business, including key industry hires.
Our target market are 21-35, and both male and female. The 8O8 drinker loves music, exploring, is creative and hard working, a maverick, who appreciates that little bit extra and is prepared to go that extra mile to get it. We split our target market into:
• Whisky drinkers:
Whisky has come a long way from the first written mention of Scotch in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 1495. The global whisky market is the third largest segment in the global spirits world, accounting for 11.57% in 2014.
Official figures show the total value of Scotch exports totalled £3.85 billion in 2015.
The USA, the biggest export destination for Scotch, remained steady at £749 million last year. Japan was up 18.4%. Netherlands up 25.6%, Canada 15.4%. There was growth in a number of emerging markets, with Mexico up 17%, Turkey up 24% and China increasing 5%.
It may surprise some people that Scotch Whisky is the biggest net contributor to UK trade in goods. The Scotch Whisky industry supports over 40,000 UK jobs and after many years of near zero growth is expanding at historic levels. Nine new distilleries have opened in the last two years and up to a further 40 were planned across Scotland (as of February 2016). In the U.S., Jack Daniels has seen 21 consecutive years of volume growth.
• Music lovers:
The common connector between music, celebrities, bars and clubs has always been alcohol. 8O8 is capitalising on the steady growth of bars and clubs and the explosion within the electronic music scene.
There’s been a 60% increase in dance music industry revenue in the last 3 years. Electronic Music is the only genre to have shown significant growth in Google searches since 2009.
In the UK, streaming of dance music grew at a faster rate than any other genre in 2015.
Our market is looking for a Scotch it can call its own, and thanks to its deep rooted connection with music, a brand it trusts and respects.
Characteristics of target market
Blended Scotch is struggling to recruit younger consumers in many key markets and has lost much of its aspirational appeal. This is exactly where 8O8 is making its mark and as such, represents a real opportunity for the Scotch Whisky industry to make up lost ground.
Interestingly for 8O8, the opportunity to overlay the Scotch and music markets gives a big opportunity in the USA, Asia, and Europe, and capitalise on the growth of electronic music.
Across Europe, at least 1 in 7 people have recently attended a Dance Music event.
Electronic Music related events in the US are the only ones showing a YoY increase in attendance.
Tomorrowland, one of the scene's biggest festivals in the US, has seen ticket prices rise 12% pa since 2012; the 2016 edition sold in 40 minutes.
8O8 is a smooth versatile liquid, perfect for cocktails. The popularity of cocktails keeps on growing. With cocktail sales up 6.5% in 2015 (according to CGA Strategy) and spirit sales up 17%, they are a ‘must have’ for bars and restaurants. Cocktail drinking occasions are growing too. And they are not just drunk in cocktail bars and on big nights out - 10% of casual diners have a cocktail as their main drink.
Our marketing objectives are to connect whisky to a younger generation that has hitherto been relatively ignored by this category. Through our brilliant established drinks Sales and Marketing team, we have developed a likeable, credible whisky, that easily competes in versatility with the stalwart white spirits, so common to that category.
Using our music connections, we have established a strong route to market employing social media key influencers like Pete Tong. We have also established direct On Trade channels like Fabric and Ministry of Sound, that specialise in the dance scene we are targeting.
Utilising a strong online presence and social media campaigns which build our community of like minded souls, 8O8 redefines what it is to be a whisky drinker.
Named after the legendary Roland TR-8O8 Drum Machine, an instrument that revolutionised music and has become the cornerstone of electronic dance, 8O8 resonates with music lovers everywhere. Together with our excellent team, we utilise our industry connections to forge a deep relationship with the scene.
8O8 is presented in an imaginative way; the minimalist bottle - clean, simple and understated - has been designed by Mark Farrow of ‘The Hacienda’ and ‘Pet Shop Boys’ fame.
Our target audience is looking for brands that align with their values. We think winning over influencers first is key to creating an influential brand, and we expect that multi-nationals looking to acquire companies with influential international followings would be interested in 8O8.
8O8 also aims to create positive PR, sharable content, and authentic ambassadors.
8O8 is young and open-minded. There are no rules. Drink it neat or ice cold. Mix with the familiars, but be daring. It’s your choice.
We do not see our direct competition as other whisky brands, but rather as the standard club classics of vodka and champagne. That said, we believe vodka is now viewed as too mainstream for newly legal drinkers in the U.S., with Smirnoff declining by 8% in the six months to December 2015, contributing to an 18% slide in overall profit.
Pernod Ricard SA said in late 2014 that its Absolut brand was struggling in the U.S.
Whisky brands that are appealing to a younger demographic such as the spiced Fireball, sold 50,000 nine-litre cases in 2009 - they now ship more than two million cases a year.
8O8 is capitalising on this new generation's desire for quality at a realistic price, with the versatility and ease of the liquid perfectly placed for the explosion in cocktail culture.
We see traditional whisky as the last of the great drinks categories to be modernised. Absolut started the trend in vodka. More recently, we've seen Hendricks make waves with gin, and Patron do the same with Tequila. 8O8 is the revolution the whisky category craves.