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BuzzBallz : Ready-to-drink Cocktails from Dallas

Thursday, December 26, 2019, 11:53 Hrs  [IST]

Although awards are nothing new to BuzzBallz, a ready-to-drink cocktail brand from Dallas, US, promoted by Merrilee Kick, the only woman Distiller in the US, the Innovation Award by SIAL India recently, was special since the brand hasn't even entered the India market. However, Jag Biswas, the man incharge of International Sales of BuzzBallz and one who believes that a breakthrough in India market would sort out his target for 10 other markets was all gung-ho and believed the recognition will provide a major boost to their Indian market aspirations.

When I traced out Biswas seated in a corner in a small booth of BuzzBallz behind a desk nicely arranged with eye-catching BuzzBallz PET Cans of different colours, the SIAL India recognition as Best Innovation was yet to seep into him. "We never thought we stand a chance for Innovation Award because we are not in India market yet. But the jury found the merit of the product and the innovative packaging," he said. He believes that the recognition is a morale booster for a brand which is looking for an appropriate entry into the market.

BuzzBallz/Southern Champion is an alcoholic beverage company started by a High School teacher-turned-woman entrepreneur, Merrilee Kick, headquartered in Dallas, USA. Started 10 years ago with BuzzBalls, a ready-to-drink cocktail brand with 100% pure fruit juice base, the company got into premium alcoholic beverages business under Southern Champion few years ago. Today, if Jag Biswas, the man in-charge of the International Sales of the brand, has to be believed, BuzzBullz is the largest selling packaged cocktail brand in the US with presence in more than 30 international markets.

"We used to produce 4,000 cases when we started 10 years ago. Today, BuzzBallz produce over 110,000 cases," he said.

As a person responsible for International sales, Biswas and his team has been able to expand BuzzBallz's international presence to 30 countries in the world in the last two years. BuzzBallz is a globally registered brand with presence in markets like Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan,Vietnam, China, etc. India is now the target territory. Why India now? "Today, no global company and product can ignore India. India is a combination of 10 markets," Biswas replied.

What makes BuzzBallz cocktails unique is its unique packaging, its taste and the sheer variety of flavours. There is an added element of convenience that comes along – there's no need to mix or add anything. "There are 13 different flavours of cocktails. We export only 10 flavours," Biswas added. The bright coloured party ball-shaped PET cans with aluminium lids make storage and handling convenient.

While most of the cocktails are Vodka or Tequila as base liquor, BuzzBallz has cocktails made with Rum, Whiskey, Wine, etc., besides Tequila and Vodka. The alcohol content in 200 ml of BuzzBallz is 15%. "The flavour, aroma and taste are different compared to other cocktails." BuzzBallz products have 2 years shelf life.

BuzzBallz products are quite popular with hotels, pubs and bars globally, because of the convenience that comes with it. It reduces the dependence on bar tenders in a big way. "35% of our consumption happens in restaurants and bars," Biswas added.

BuzzBalls has a dedicated brand, Biggies, of cocktails targeted at hotels and restaurants, which are in 1.75 ltr packaging. Biggies are available in three flavours – Chocolate Tease, Tequila Rita and Stiff Lemonade.

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