DTC Apéritif Brand Haus Is Reinventing The Drinking Experience For Mindful Millennials
PSFK learns about the new, low-alcohol spirits brand catering to modern consumers who want a social and modern drinking experience without the negative side effects (and associations), and who value transparency as well as thoughtful design
Haus is building a new kind of beverage experience, one that is poised to disrupt an entrenched alcohol industry. Focusing on all-natural apéritifs, the goal of the brand is to support millennials who enjoy drinking socially in a way that is compatible with today's wellness culture—as well as designed with an updated aesthetic that offers an alternative to the often outdated status quo.
PSFK spoke with with co-founder Helena Price Hambrecht to learn more about founding an online-only, door-delivery spirits brand that takes a transparent mindset, marshaling consumer insights from her work in Silicon Valley to create a service, brand and product that merges convenience with authenticity and high design:
PSFK: Your target consumers are millennials. Can you tell us more about designing a brand to meet their specific needs, as their behavior around alcohol departs from that of previous generations?
Helena: This has been such a fun project because we really got to approach it with the question, “How do you build a spirit brand for 2019? If there were no restrictions and we could just reinvent the whole thing, what would we do?”
“What would the shipping and distribution experience be like? Where would this product even live? Who would be drinking it?” We had a lot to go off of. [My husband] Woody has worked in wine and spirits for the last decade. He had all of this intel on what the lay of the land was for alcohol.
Then I come from the Silicon Valley world where I'm researching market trends religiously. I had a really good idea of what millennial consumer trends were in general just because I've watched all of these other industries be disrupted by direct‑to‑consumer brands.
I also had some hunches from my own personal experience because I'm a peak millennial. I am a person who's really focused on my career. I have a lot going on in my life. I just found that, over the years, it's very easy to find yourself drinking almost every night. You might have a work dinner, or maybe you have to go catch up with someone, or maybe you have an industry event. Especially in bigger cities like New York, LA, or San Francisco, there's something like that happening every night.
I was really starting to feel the effect over the years. I really love being out and socializing. I love that drinking can bring people together. At the same time, I don't like being drunk. I don't like being hungover. I don't like all the calories that go into my body. I had a hunch that probably most people felt that way. It really didn't take much research before I realized all millennials feel this way.
How is Haus in dialogue with today's wellness culture, which continues to influence consumer focus and behavior?
People really care about their health. They care about their image. They don't want to be that wasted person on Instagram. They care a lot about what they put in their body, as well as about transparency and authenticity.
When you look at what the industry was providing, some of the products could seem sketchy. You didn't know what was in them. The names were out of date, corny or even misogynistic. There was packaging that hadn't changed in a hundred years.
Millennials also value convenience. It's never been easy to buy a bottle of liquor. I'm from North Carolina where you have to go to an ABC store. It's only open certain hours of every day. Our generation buys everything else online. We had a strong hunch that they would buy us online, too. So far so good.
Haus is made by millennials. We are literally our market, so we're extremely relatable. We understand who we're selling to. We literally live on the farm where we grow the ingredients. We couldn't be more true to what we're doing. We build transparency into the product, being really open about the ingredients and maintaining an open dialogue with our consumers.
Lead image: Haus