7 Drinks Retailing Business Success Stories [2023]

Updated: January 18th, 2023
Start A Drinks Retailing Business

Here are some real life success stories of starting a drinks retailing business:

1. Brine Brothers ($120K/year)

Harris Derner (from New York, New York, USA) started Brine Brothers over 6 years ago.

$10K / month
2 founders / 0 employees
New York, New York, USA

Case Study

Hello, my name is Harris Derner and I am the co-founder of Brine Brothers, an All-Natural Premium Brine company. I started Brine Brothers in 2016 with my friend of 25+ years, Michael Belicose. Our current products are all-natural, drinkable pickle brines; ‘Darn Good Dill’ - the classic for pickle lovers and ‘Chili Cherry Fire’ - for those who like it hot. Pickle ‘brine’ (also referred to as pickle ‘juice’) is the liquid solution that transforms cucumbers into pickles.


2. Drink Shrub ($54K/year)

Michaela McVetty (from Portland, Oregon, USA) started Drink Shrub over 6 years ago.

$4.5K / month
3 founders / 1 employees
Portland, Oregon, USA

Case Study

Hello! My name is Aaron Weast and I started Drink Shrub, a company dedicated to offering a sophisticated zero-proof solution to an age old problem: what to drink when you’re not drinking.

After selling the product at farmer’s markets, local retail outlets, food shows, etc. we aggregated the feedback from our customers and revised the recipe and branding in May of 2018. This new revision became what is known today as Small Barrel Shrub. Armed with this new branding and recipe we’ve tripled the number of doors in which we’re sold!


Learn more about starting a drinks retailing business:

Where to start?

-> How much does it cost to start a drinks retailing business?
-> Pros and cons of a drinks retailing business

Need inspiration?

-> Examples of established drinks retailing business

Other resources

4. Drake’s Organic Spirits ($10.8M/year)

Mark Anderson (from Minneapolis, MN) started Drake’s Organic Spirits over 6 years ago.

$900K / month
2 founders / 20 employees

Case Study

Hello, my name is Mark Anderson, and I am the CEO and Founder of Drake’s Organic Spirits, the only spirit on the market that is certified USDA Organic, Gluten Free, Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegan and Kosher. Our products include spirits, mixers, SpikedIce ® Pops, and Boxtails ®, ready-to-serve cocktails in a box! All the ingredients we use for all our products are organic!

Among all of our spirits, it is particularly worth calling out that Drake’s Organic Vodka – which is the basis for 3 of our 5 Boxtails, and of course vodka leads US spirits consumption by a mile -- is made from organic, non-GMO sugar cane, while most competitors based their spirit on genetically modified corn ethanol, which is very hard on the planet.


5. The Coca-Cola Company ($2.4B/year)

Coca-Cola Success Story : Beverage that Ruled Decades

$200M / month
1 founders / 700000 employees

Case Study

The Coca-Cola Company is a global beverage firm founded in the United States in 1892 by Asa Griggs Candler. Various carbonated drinks and non-alcoholic beverage concentrates & syrups are manufactured, sold, and marketed by this world-renowned soft drink brand.

John Stith Pemberton, a pharmacist, invented the soft drink formulation in 1886. At the time of its origination, the product comprised cocaine derived from coca leaves and caffeine derived from kola nuts, both of which served as stimulants.

The recipe and brand were sold for $2,300 (about $71,000 in 2022) to Asa Griggs Candler in 1889, who founded the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in 1892. Since 1889, the corporation has been running a franchised distribution system, leading to world domination in the cold beverage market.

The company's success grew to the extent that it bought Columbia Pictures for $692 million in 1982, which it later sold to Sony for $3 billion. In 1993, the business purchased the Indian cola brand Thums Up. It also acquired Costa Coffee from Whitbread for £3.9 billion on August 31, 2018.

According to the Coca-Cola Company's 2005 annual report, the company sold beverages in over 200 countries that year. According to the 2005 data, nearly 50 billion beverage servings were consumed globally.

Coca-Cola was declared in 2010 as the first brand to surpass £1 billion in annual UK supermarket sales. The company's overall sales were estimated to reach $33 billion globally in 2020.

In recent years, the company has spent approximately $4 billion per year globally to promote its drinks to the general public and spent approximately $4.24 billion on advertising in the fiscal year 2019, the share of which was paid to advertise Coca-Cola.


6. Paper Boat Drinks ($28.6M/year)

Paper Boat company has revived Indian traditional drinks. Read about Paper Boat, the company profile of the juice company, success story, founders, & more.

James Nuttall, Neeraj Kakkar & Suhas Misra (from Bengaluru, Karnataka, India) started Paper Boat Drinks about 10 years ago.

$2.38M / month
2 founders / 200 employees

Case Study

James Nuttall, Neeraj Kakkar, and Suhas Misra established Paper Boat, a brand of traditional Indian drinks and culinary goods.

They launched the line of Paper Boat drinks in August 2013 to grasp the Indian packaged drink market. Paper Boat is a subsidiary of Hector Beverages, which started in 2009.

Neeraj Kakkar, the CEO of Hector Beverages and Paper Boat, was born and raised in Haryana, India. In 1998, Neeraj completed a Post Graduate Program in Management at the Management Development Institute in Gurgaon. In 2010, he completed a general management course, Master of Business Administration, from The Wharton School.

Initially, the founders thought of venturing into functional beverages. They noticed the demand for the ethnic drinks category in India. So they focused on creating beverages from ingredients passed from one generation to another.

Paper Boat Key Success Secrets:

  • Focusing on consumers who longed for a simple, uncomplicated life.
  • Tapping into a powerful human emotion.
  • Taking customer feedback and improving or introducing new flavors as per customers’ demand.
  • Innovation and making decisions quickly.
  • Market segmentation has helped the brand to stand out from the competition.

The company aims to conserve ancient recipes while creating innovative Indian beverages. Paper Boat goods include no artificial coloring or preservatives. N.R. finances the firm. Catamaran Ventures, Footprint Ventures, and Sequoia Capital, among others, are led by Narayana Murthy.

Paper Boat has seen upward growth after being launched in 2013. The company claimed a 20% sales gain in the fiscal year 2020, which concluded in March last year. Revenue increased from INR 195 Cr in FY2019 to INR 235 Cr in FY20. They are currently expanding their business and launching new products in the market.


Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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