No sugar, no problem:Blue Lobster coolers find taste naturally

Nova Scotia Spirit Company looked west to find inspiration for their new line of sugar-free Blue Lobster vodka sodas. British Columbia alcohol producers were already in the burgeoning business of ready-to-drink products and Spirit Co. co-founder Alex Rice wanted to follow suit.

Alex and Dan Allen founded the company five years ago, and along with their first employee and now partner, Evan MacEachern, began producing their ‘1929’ brew exclusively for their client Bishop’s Cellar.

“We are sugar, gluten and carb free. We don’t throw preservatives in and we worked harder to make these taste great,” said Alex.

The brand launched into the top space when the company started selling at NSLCs across the province. The beverages sold out across NSLC stores for most of the summer, indicating the popularity of Blue Lobster. They’ve maintained their momentum with a successful pre-summer launch in PEI and have plans for Ontario and New Brunswick.

Alex credits their partnership with Perennia in helping them break through the ready-to-drink product market with their lemon-lime flavour, Blue Lobster Vodka Soda. Perennia was on board to help when Alex first approached them with a need to develop a flavour profile and recipe for his soda. Their initial ask to Perennia was to help them put the two distinct lemon and lime flavours together to make an amazing product.

“We didn’t have a formulation at this stage. They helped us make those natural flavours work in concert,” he said. “We grew in-house at such a fast pace that we had to outsource these opportunities to develop flavour. That’s where Perennia has been incredible. They had such a precise scope of work, and are constantly helping us with ideas, samples and giving us a look at future flavours.”

Perennia also supported Nova Scotia Spirit Company to develop beyond its existing resources and grow the brand and products for customers. Perennia is currently helping develop a blueberry-lemon vodka soda, made from 100 per cent wild Nova Scotia blueberry juice.

“We hope to have these products launched in the coming months and to be working on a library of new flavours for years,” Alex said.

While Alex is focused on summer sales first, he sees moving into Ontario as a big future play. With 250 LCBO stores taking the Blue Lobster product in May, he’s set to tap into that market.

“With Perennia’s help, we’re going to be able to capitalize on Ontario’s affinity for the East Coast. We want to be a Canadian success story, and we’re well on our way.”

Alex Rice and Dan Allen, Nova Scotia Spirit Company