Sober & Co., very first carbonated cocktail mixer in the market
Sober & Co. was founded by brother duo Sharan Kriplani and Nishant Kriplani in 2022 during the lockdown. Being a youth, these siblings realized that the monotony of drinking liquor straight up became high. Stirring up cocktails at home seemed to be time-consuming; that’s when they came up with the idea of a ‘cocktail mixer’. Although establishing something like ‘Sober & Co.’ was never their objective, they eventually realized a significant void in the market as other brands entered it with somewhat random and typical flavours. At this point, ‘Sober & Co.’ came into existence. A bottle of Sober & Co. is a versatile drink for mixing and stirring with various types of other stiff drinks or simply pouring and sipping directly.
Q. Tell us more about Sober & Co.; and the story behind the name of your brainchild?
It all started in the lockdown when we both shared the urge to create and taste fascinating cocktails that stemmed from having spent years studying abroad and experiencing their unique flavours. We found ourselves critiquing and creating intriguing flavours every time. With house parties and house gatherings being the only alternative for social events at that time, we realized that every person might not have the time, ability and patience to curate lip-smacking cocktails like bartenders do. After researching for months, we identified a gap in the market – one which did not have a carbonated ready-to-drink/cocktail mixer that is unique and which will appeal to both kinds of people at a party – a mocktail person and a cocktail person. As the lockdown came to an end, we got in touch with World Class 2019 winner Devi Singh to assist us in curating 6 unique, fresh, non-synthetic and never seen before flavours which we launched as a ready-to-drink/cocktail mixer under the brand name Sober & Co.Our products can also be consumed directly, thus replacing beer or any other preferred alcoholic beverage for partygoers. So we named it Sober & Co. because it is possible to party while remaining SOBER. ‘Sober & Co. came into existence because of a deep-rooted love for cocktails. The thought of having eccentric ready-to-drink cocktail mixers was more of a need than a want. Sensing that the carbonated cocktail mixer industry was fairly undiscovered, we decided to get in touch with the Indian Bartender of Year (2019) – Mr Devi Singh. He expressed his belief in the future of the cocktail market which led to research in more than 40 flavours before finalizing the 6 current flavours of Sober & Co, which we later launched under the names of Australian Sour, Caribbean Punch, Mexican Mama, Cuban Spritzer, Goan mule and Spanish Margarita’
Q. What were your consumers’ responses so far; any changes have S&Co. adopted according to their preferences?
Sober & Co ran an extensive market research campaign where friends, families and industry-experienced individuals were made to try and comment on each of the flavours. Right from the sweetness, consistency, and carbonation to the flavour variety was tweaked to suit the taste buds of everyone. This is why each of the cocktail mixers has a different punch, Psi level, sweetness and consistency. This is the reason we believe that every consumer will at least love one of the flavours of Sober & Co if not all. This has allowed us to cater to every single taste preference and has allowed us to capture a lot of the local market very quickly. Thus far, every consumer has shown a presence in one or more flavours that Sober & Co offers – which is what we aimed for!Q. What makes Sober & Co. unique from other beverage companies?
Sober & Co is a premium handcrafted beverage manufactured in small batches without artificial colour or preservatives. It is completely non-synthetic and all of the flavours have a sense of freshness when you sip on them! In addition, we are the very first carbonated cocktail mixer in the market, allowing us to tap into the ready-to-drink market without tweaking our flavours. Each serving of Sober & Co is very low in calories and has a vibrant sense of taste. Our 6 Sku’s allows us to offer unique flavours- from sweet, spicy, salty, sour and bitter – that help us cater to every taste bud. Our flavours are non-traditional and have never been seen in the market before, allowing us to offer something new and exciting to the customers. And as previously stated, we are a ready-to-drink beverage brand that can be consumed directly, replacing the desire to consume alcoholic beverages.
Q. There is no doubt S&Co. has to go a long way! But what are the challenges you faced in this short period?
The primary challenges that Sober has experienced in the 6 months are awareness and accessibility. Being a bootstrap start-up, there’s only so much a new brand can do for awareness with limited funds. However, we genuinely believe that we have something unique to offer and with time and a little patience, we will be able to create a niche for our product. As per the accessibility, we are in talks of expanding into multiple cities in India, so it ought to be sorted out soon.
Q. What are your future plans for the organization?
We intend to expand to four cities in the next quarter: Bangalore, Guwahati, Kerala, and Rajasthan and are in discussions to form strategic alliances in those areas to increase our presence. In terms of flavours, we plan to broaden our product portfolio next year after we complete our current R&D and market research. At this point, it is more important for us to raise awareness and accessibility of our current flavours.
Our mission is to raise a brow with every sip and aimed at reaching every corner of the country and beyond. We aim to revolutionize the beverage industry one sip at a time. We are looking to collaborate and create synergies in the beverage industry that could increase our accessibility and availability throughout the country.