True to its name, Two Roads Brewing Co. became Connecticut’s biggest craft brewer by taking its own, less-traveled path, always focused on delighting its fans while never resting on its laurels. That same ethos holds today, as the brewer embarks on its second decade with a more honed-in strategic approach to its business, its overall look, its brands and its award-winning innovation.
The most visible evidence comes in Two Roads’ first-ever, portfolio-wide packaging refresh — one that speaks to a more consumer packaged goods (CPG)-oriented approach to the brewer’s brand, shelf presence and marketing support. Retaining its iconic, fan-favorite crossed-arms logo, every Two Roads can, bottle and box now showcases a stronger master-brand architecture, greater emphasis on its sub-brands and styles, and a more modernly clean approach to design. While Two Roads’ original packaging helped establish the brand as a household name among discerning craft fans, the new design instills more consistency across all lines and products, enabling Two Roads to make a stronger, more unified statement on shelf.
Two years in the making, the refresh resulted from extensive internal and external research, including direct feedback from retailers and distributors and a series of consumer surveys, panels and focus groups.
“Our category is far more competitive than it was when Two Roads launched in 2012. Today, more than ever, craft brewers need to have branding that makes the selection process easier for the consumer: brands need to stand out, stand for something and have staying power,” said Brad Hittle, cofounder and CEO of Two Roads Brewing. “We’ve always been about taking the road less traveled, and our revamped packaging keeps that feeling front and center while making it easier to find us, identify our sub-branding and styles, and appeal to a new generation of craft fans.”
New investments in talent, focus on top sub-brands
The brewery’s evolution to a CPG mindset has it relying more on data to drive its business, marketing, and sales strategies. The shift resulted from the work of an internal task force formed during the pandemic charged with strengthening the company’s overall position and its leadership team with standout veteran beer and CPG executives.
General Manager Brian Hollinger, previously VP operations at Dogfish Head, was hired to transition the company’s operations from home grown to world class, while on the commercial side, Brian Corrie was brought on as VP of sales and Brian Duprey as senior director of national accounts, both of whom have decades of experience working for top beer brands. Two Roads’ fortified marketing strategy — led by Collin Kennedy, who has more than a decade of experience in beer and broader CPG marketing — will help support their efforts.
Some of those executives were part of a newly-formed Business Insights team that used data and trade feedback to develop a revised and highly focused beer portfolio strategy centered on:
- A deeper commitment to Road 2 Ruin – Two Roads’ Double IPA – as its flagship beer
- Line extensions that leverage existing brand equity from other top performing SKUs like Lil’ Heaven and Two Juicy
- Innovations that keep with its “road-less-travelled” mantra, including Juicy Box, an industry-first 16 oz. variety six-pack of hazy IPA’s
“Juicy Box took a total team effort and has been a huge hit; we are barely keeping up with demand. Consumers love the name and the product — a one-two punch for success,” Hittle continued.
Two Roads product development strategy also includes approaching “beyond beer” as a category that encompasses more than just hard seltzer and ready-to-drink canned cocktails. Within the last six months, Two Roads has released it first two non-alcoholic beers, Non-Alcoholic Juicy IPA and Non-Alcoholic American IPA, along with the first products from Two Roads Distilling: small-batch vodka and London-dry gin. Each was developed by the brewery’s renowned Master Brewer Phil Markowski and is currently available for sale at the Two Roads Brewery. They follow the brewery’s Daybreaker line of premium, vodka-infused ready-to-drink cocktails, available at retailers throughout southern New England. Each initiative emerged from the Markowski-run Area Two Experimental Brewing facility, which will continue to fuel smart innovation to delight evolving tastes.
The refreshed packaging will roll out over the next few months. Fans can learn more at www.tworoadsbrewing.com.
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