The beverage industry has been rapidly expanding, especially with more ready-to-drink cocktails heading to store shelves. But not all liquor producers consider the environmental impacts of creating these drinks. This challenge is where Buzzbox comes in. It is redefining what it means to be a beverage producer with its commitment to sustainability.
Buzzbox was founded to create a new way to get alcoholic beverages at concerts, festivals, and other live events who struggled with lines at concession stands. Consensus had the privilege of speaking with CEO Rod Vandenbos, who explained how he noticed a “gaping hole in the concession plans,” with patrons typically aiming for cans of beer or small cups of wine.
With more festivals outlawing glass bottles, Buzzbox filled this hole. The beverages were stored in more eco-friendly paper packaging, and patrons could get classic bar drinks. The packaging was the major difference between some more prominent brands: it was sustainable, biodegradable, and could fit more liquid than cans.
Tetra Pak, the company that has partnered with Buzzbox for a little over a decade, has been the driving force behind this packaging. “Before our partnership, Tetra Pak had only worked on storing liquor like boxed wine. They had never tried packaging a cocktail before,” Vandenbos explained about the new design for the signature Buzzbox carton.
This brilliant partnership has led Tetra Pak to send its cartons in rolls. “Rather than ordering 200 pallets of cans, I can get over 260,000 boxes from a single pallet of the paper roll. We’ve cut down on our truck shipments of raw materials by 95%,” Vandenbos continued.
Better yet, these cartons are recyclable, have replaced straws for a cap made from sugar cane called the Dreamcap (meaning biodegradability), and the kicker: Tetra Paks are cheaper than cans or bottles.
It is a “green” strategy in all senses of the word, saving the planet while saving money.
The way Buzzbox makes its cocktails is also highly sustainable. In April 2021, a new 65,000-square-foot production facility in California opened with the goal of zero waste and having the lowest environmental impact. “We filter and reuse water for drink production; we clean with food-grade recyclable materials,” Vandenbos said. The new plant saves up to 100,000 gallons of water and trims greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.
The new facility took over a former Target superstore, and as the plant expanded, they have helped the surrounding area blossom into a business hub.
All the ingredients for the cocktails are locally sourced within a 90-mile radius, using fresh citrus from California farmers, top-shelf liquor, and no artificial flavoring or fillers.
Less shipping for ingredients has cut back on carbon emissions. With these sustainable initiatives, Buzzbox has managed to keep prices low while rolling out a carton that has 25% more capacity. Giving the consumer more for the same price.
Buzzbox is gaining popularity everywhere, and trends in the beverage market reflect it. New research shows that 84% of young consumers are looking for a sustainably-made drink that they can recycle when finished. They are readily available to pick up in big-name retailers like Walmart, Costco, and Ralph’s.
While not every state offers Buzzbox in stores, it has an online commerce presence, making it available in 32 states in the continental U.S. The company also has new partnerships with Oak View Group to become the Coachella Valley Firebirds’ official premium cocktail upon opening its new arena. The sky is the limit for Buzzbox.