Spirits sector finally catches up with tech age

14th July, 2015 by Amy Hopkins

The rapid growth of the on-demand alcohol delivery sector marks the “beginning of the industry’s move into the technology age”, having lagged behind other sectors in terms of technological innovation.

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Drinks delivery firms such as Drizly mark the spirits industry’s move into the technology age

Over the past few months, a number of new drinks delivery start-ups have launched in and expanded across the US, including Drizly, Swill and Thirstie.

According to Nick Rellas, CEO and co-founder of Drizly, an app-controlled alcoholic drinks delivery platform, such companies allow brands and retailers to take part in e-commerce.

Speaking with The Spirits Business, he said: “This is the beginning of this industry’s move into the technology age. It has been kept behind compared to other sectors.

“The idea of on-demand is almost ubiquitous these days. There’s certainly an opportunity for the drinks trade here and we are starting to see companies taking advantage of this.”

Founded in 2012, Drizly is a service that connects users to their nearest alcohol retailer, allowing them to receive orders at their doorsteps in 20-40 minutes.

Backed by angel and institutional investors, the firm has raised millions of dollars in seed funding and re-launched earlier this year with a new brand identity designed to emulate the user experience of Netflix, Amazon and Spotify.

According to Rellas, Drizly is growing 20-25% each month.

When the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) purchased a minority stake in the company earlier this year, Rellas said this showed “technology can be an ally of mature, regulated industries like alcohol, not a disruptor”.

“The vision for Drizly has always been to accelerate wholesalers, suppliers and retailers through the consumer’s shift to more mobile and digital commerce.”

For more an in-depth look at the burgeoning on-demand drinks delivery sector, see the July 2015 issue of The Spirits Business magazine, out now.

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