Grey Goose owner Bacardi has launched a new cocktail-making app that aims to “reimagine the bar setting” and allows bartenders to build their brand.

Launching initially in the UK and US, the new Mix Lab app provides more than 300 cocktail recipes to consumers making drinks at home, including classic serves and unique concoctions.

The platform also seeks to provide bartenders with a way to monetise their craft, and build their reputation. The app allows bartenders to be followed, with consumers able to receive notifications when new recipes are uploaded.

The app, which has been in development for the past year, was created to help boost consumer confidence in making cocktails at home. Bacardi worked with a group of 30 bartenders on the app, along with a group of consumers.

Katie Kirkpatrick, global senior director at Bacardi-owned platforms, said the pandemic had “accelerated” the firm’s work on the app as the at-home experience became “central to how consumers were engaging and hosting parties at home”. Kirkpatrick said the app is “about reimagining the bar setting” and establishing the link between the bartender and the cocktail enthusiast.

Bacardi said there has been a spike in Google searches for ‘easy cocktail recipes’ during 2020, while 40% of US consumers are interested in at-home cocktails kits (Nielsen CGA 2020 survey).

Bacardi’s latest cocktail trends report for 2021 also found that one in four people in the US are making cocktails at home, while one in five UK drinkers are hosting virtual gatherings.

Each recipe on the Mix Lab app comes with a video of the bartender demonstrating the serve. Recipes can also be saved, and users can leave reviews of each serve after making them.

The app also offers the ability to recommend cocktail recipes based on what the user has at home through the My Bar function. The app uses an AI-driven recommendations engine that suggests cocktail recipes based on the user preferences selected when creating their profile, curating personalised options based on what they like.

The app allows drinkers to browse recipes based on colour, difficulty, flavour, national holidays, spirits and occasions.

US consumers who download Mix Lab benefit from in-app purchases, allowing them to buy ingredients through e-commerce platform Thirstie. UK drinkers can shop for Bacardi spirits and gift sets through Mix Lab’s gifting site.

Bacardi said the app also allows consumers to support bartenders during the pandemic by trying their recipes, and ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ their favourite bartenders.

Kirkpatrick added that the app and the Mix Lab website will be updated regularly with new features, including expanding the ‘community’ experience and adding an e-commerce element.

Kirkpatrick said: “The web experience is like Pinterest, you can save things or add to it, and it drives you to download the app. We want the browser to be a place, without the hurdle of downloading the app, to be inspired and make sure the app gives consumers the extra personalised experience, based on preferences and flavour profiles.”

Kirkpatrick adds that the company is also looking at launching the Mix Lab app in emerging markets, such as Europe.

Free Pour app

In addition to Mix Lab, Bacardi is also beta testing a new app specifically for bartenders, called Free Pour. The app enables bartenders to ‘advance their career digitally’ and provides training and education.

Kirkpatrick added: “Mix Lab is about creating and upscaling personal branding – how a bartender can create a personal brand and influence. Free Pour is about helping them upscale their craft. Those two things work really well together.”

Mix Lab is now available to download for free on iOS and Android.

Via The Spirits Business
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