Into the drink
To:Brew Readers
Retail Brew // Morning Brew // Update
LQR House CEO talks trends in alcohol.
September 19, 2023

Retail Brew

Walmart Business

It’s Tuesday, and delivery company Instacart finally made its Wall Street debut today. The IPO comes as the future of the gig economy looks less and less certain. Even Instacart these days is talking more about innovative retail technology than its gig economy roots. Maybe a “flexible” workforce isn’t the selling point it used to be for Big Tech.

In today’s edition:

—Jeena Sharma, Katishi Maake, Natasha Piñon


Let’s drink to that

Cocktails at a bar Maximfesenko/Getty Images

From Tito’s to Jack Daniel’s, there’s no shortage of marketing for the well-established spirits brands. LQR House, a liquor marketing company, operates with a slightly different but equally strong mission: giving niche premium liquor a bigger platform.

The company launched an IPO recently, and while you may not have heard of LQR itself, you have likely heard of products like Cocktail Caviar and Mystery Tequila, and you have LQR to thank for that.

Following our recent conversation with LQR House CEO Sean Dollinger about the company’s vision, and its work with Country Wine & Spirits and Ssquared Spirits, we decided to pick his brain on the ins and outs of the alcohol industry.

Keep reading here.—JS



Taking care of business

Walmart Business

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It ain’t easy being cheesy

A money bag on a wooden table Brianajackson/Getty Images

Celebrities love to use their name to sell products, but it is refreshing when someone brave comes along and decides to veer away from alcohol.

Oodles of noodles: Gal Gadot’s macaroni and cheese brand Goodles is looking to take on the major players in the space with the help of a Series A funding round that has brought the company $13 million, according to Fortune.

  • Goodles, founded in late 2021, pitches itself as a healthier macaroni and cheese alternative that incorporates fiber and protein.
  • Gadot and her business partner, Jen Zeszut, also wanted to create a brand that appeals to both kids and adults, as opposed to just kids.

Goodles are sold in 35,000 stores nationwide, including Whole Foods, Safeway, and Target. The brand is looking to go up against titans in the macaroni and cheese space such as Kraft and Annie’s.

Keep reading here.—KM



Don’t upset the applecart Instacart’s IPO

IPO valuations Vectorinspiration/Getty Images

“Shoot for the moon, land with a mediocre valuation. That’s what happened in Instacart’s much-hyped IPO,” writes CFO Brew’s Natasha Piñon:

The real story comes from Instacart’s valuation, which is tens of billions of dollars lower than it once was…[Its] valuation dip may not bode well for the IPO market at large, which is starting back up after a yearlong freeze.

Read the whole story here on CFO Brew.



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Today’s top retail reads.

Van life: Startups armed with fleets of electric vans are battling for market share, as retailers increasingly seek zero-emission, last-mile delivery options. (Reuters)

Oktoberfight: Oktoberfest in Munich is getting a taste of US-style culture war after Paulaner made the decision to serve only organic chicken at its tent. (the Wall Street Journal)

Clorox cyberattack: Clorox warned that the clean-up from a recent cyberattack is ongoing and could impact the brand’s first-quarter fiscal results. (CNBC)

Bulk up: Order whatever your biz needs with Walmart Business. Submit bulk orders + receive shipments sent to your office, delivered to your door, or picked up from a Walmart location, all at everyday low prices.*

Build clout at checkout: The online checkout process is riddled with abandoned shopping carts and incomplete purchases. Learn what retailers can do to optimize the checkout experience in our latest article, sponsored by Adyen.*

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Retail marketing hits and misses from the past week.

Social swap: In a social experiment sponsored by Heineken, former soccer players Jill Scott and Gary Neville swapped social media accounts to see if there was a gender bias in how users responded to their opinions. As a video shared by the beer maker shows, sexism apparently still runs rampant in the sports world. (Heineken on YouTube)

Tok till you drop: It just got easier to shop on TikTok. The video sharing platform has launched TikTok Shop, which gives brands the ability to sell directly through “shoppable content” and live streams, in the US. The company also plans to subsidize its sellers so they can offer steep discounts this Black Friday, in a direct challenge to major e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, per a Bloomberg report. A handful of brands are already touting the new offerings. (Love and Pebble on TikTok).

Ice Spicing it up: Dunkin’ is bringing some real star power to its latest ad campaign. Actor Ben Affleck and rapper Ice Spice co-starred in a 30-second spot promoting the chain’s new Ice Spice Munchkins Drink, which is the first to combine a baked item—pumpkin-flavored Munchkins—with frozen coffee. (Dunkin’ on Instagram)


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Written by Jeena Sharma, Katishi Maake, and Natasha Piñon

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