As the old canard goes, you drink when you’re happy, and you drink when you’re sad. It was easy then for Paritosh and Vishal, the co-promoters of Tipple Brands, to come up with the name HappyDown for a brand of crafted sparkling cocktails that they were planning to launch. As Paritosh says, “We’re against the ordinary and the artificial and hence do not conform to the age-old notion of being ‘just happy’. We believe one needs to experience both aspects of life to be able to truly enjoy it, as well as to make it a lot more meaningful.”
Well, that interesting philosophy manifests itself in a choice of three flavours - lychee guava infused with chilli, lemon cucumber infused with mint and raspberry pomegranate infused with basil. You can get properly happydowned with any of these three options. But, unfortunately, not in India. Yet. As is the case with several Indian drinks brands, whether they be Amrut and Paul John in the single malt category or Wild Tiger in the rum category, the inclination for both regulatory and market reasons has been to launch the product overseas before introducing it in India. And so it is with HappyDown, which recently scored a coup by getting a much-coveted listing with Tesco, the largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom.
HappyDown has been a journey nearly four years in the making, but Paritosh and Vishal never gave up on their vision. They felt that the world was going through a sea-change, in terms of consumer lifestyle, tastes and preferences. The ready-to-drink category was interesting, but very crowded, with what they felt were artificial tasting, synthetic looking and sugar overloaded RTDs/Premixes/AlcoPops. They decided to challenge the status quo and bring about a craft alternative to these drinks.
HappyDown worked with a UK flavour house to produce the blends, and they use only 100 per cent natural fruit flavours, with no added sugar. The flavours alone are reason enough to induce trial, with an intriguing mix of fruit, herbs, spices and a touch of the faintly exotic. On a recent visit to London, I picked up a couple of cans, one of the lychee guava and the other of the lemon cucumber. The harmony of flavours created is a tribute to what Paritosh says are the hundreds and thousands of tastings done to make sure they could nail the flavour down exactly. The promoters indicate that all three flavours are selling equally well, with different sections of consumers favouring different flavours/blends. Promotional efforts are primarily underway via sampling of the brand among the right audience via participating in events and festivals and a focus on social media to build awareness and franchise.
We’ll have to wait a bit more for HappyDown to reach our shores, as they plan to concentrate on the UK/international markets in the near term, but we can hopefully expect to swig it in a year or two here. And I’ll leave you with Paritosh’s parting enigmatic words, which are as good a drinking philosophy as I’ve heard!
“We’re looking at the world a bit differently (almost upside down). Therefore, according to us, Happy and Down are two sides of the same coin; it’s just a different way of looking at things/situations/life in general. Simply put: If you’re happy or you’re down … have a drink. Maybe the other way is up?” Amen.