In High Spirits – The Creative Marketing Stunt That Skyrocketed India’s Only RTD Beverage Brand To Global Recognition 

With a substantial revenue rise in the sub-continent’s Alco-bev industry —  $52.55 billion to be exact, with a projected CAGR of 7.98 % from 2023 to 2025, the competition is becoming fierce.

In a revolutionary twist, Salud, India’s leading urban lifestyle brand that markets Ready to Drink and Craft Spirits decided to foray into the NFT and metaverse space last year. This bold marketing strategy was focused on gaining the moniker global recognition – and it did. In October 2022, Salud Cusps, in partnership with Token Runway, sold its NFT Cusps collection in a successful week-long auction with a high bid that reached 0.5 ETH.

“This is another game-changing avenue of expressing the values that matter to us and our patrons—inclusivity, social and ecological responsibility, fresh and uncomplicated ways of connecting with your tribe,” said banker-turned-entrepreneur Ajay Shetty, founder of Salud. 

By creating exclusive access for collectors, Salud plans to instil a stronger sense of community among its supporters or what they like to call, Saludians. Early access to Salud sessions, a curated collection of chill deep house music and invites to exclusive parties and events. 

Collectors are also the first to receive discounts on the label’s trendy merchandise line that includes oversized hoodies, t-shirts, co-ord sets, bucket hats, hats and coasters.

In 2021 the launch of G&T 2.0, a range of gin-based RTDs from Salud successfully hit the market. RTDs (Ready-to-Drink beverages) are a convenient option for those seeking variety and unique flavours, without the need for preparation and are easy on the pocket.

“We aim to make drinking accessible, affordable, and fun for people with carefully crafted, high-quality products and a community experience,” says Ajay Shetty. Bridging the gap in the Alco-bev space, Salud beverages have become highly popular among RTD connoisseurs around the world. 

In 2022, Salud won awards for three of its ready-to-drink gin refreshers at the London Spirits Competition and a gold medal at Global Gin Masters, a historic first for an Indian RTD business.

“Anthill Ventures has played a vital role in not only securing funding but also offering insightful and strategic guidance. Their expertise has helped me to maintain a balanced perspective and make informed decisions, leading to the significant growth and expansion of the brand,” says Shetty. 

At Salud, sustainability is not just a buzzword. They’ve taken practical steps, like using glass or aluminium containers and eco-friendly materials like handmade pottery and recyclable wood for their coasters. And they’re not stopping there – their goal is to shrink their carbon footprint with the use of recyclable bottles and move towards a zero-carbon distillation process. As Shetty says, “Small steps lead to big change.”

Salud is expanding its product line beyond RTDs by adding non-alcoholic bitters and a luxurious gin. The next step is moving into a leased facility and eventually having its own distillery.

“As Salud continues to grow, we aim to use the company’s learnings and experience to benefit other brands in the industry. The market is ripe for disruption, and in partnership with Anthill Ventures, we plan to identify and collaborate with like-minded, innovative brands, so we can together change the course of development for the Alco-bev industry in India,” concludes Shetty.

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