North East Connected

Tips to help you create and market a new luxury spirit

As you will have noticed, when it comes to drinks people are looking for interesting, new flavours and higher quality than they did in the past. This means the spirits industry has had to evolve, which in turn provides opportunities for those of you who might be inspired to develop something new.

When my business partner and I started to create our new spirit, the question became: How do we create something that is truly unique?

Let me share our thoughts on bringing a unique spirit to market that you can apply to your own new product idea.

  1. Find Your Inspiration

For years, I was writing a novel based in Venice. Cadello was born from the question: “What spirit would wealthy 18th century Venetian merchants have served at their lavish masked balls?”

A product born from your passions ensures that what you create is truly individual. It provides a starting point for a product and brand that is unequivocally yours.

  1. Develop a Unique Flavour

If you are creating something that doesn’t exist, you need to experiment, test and solicit independent feedback. We spent 3 years working with our distillery to find the highest quality ingredients in the right combination to create a flavour profile that was completely unique, smooth and complex.

Today, it’s vital for new spirits to be truly different from anything else available. It is obviously also essential to use the highest quality ingredients.

  1. Find Your Production Partner

We spent 18 months selecting our Italian distillation partner: Distilleria Pisoni.

Distilleria Pisoni is a 150-year-old family-owned distillery that employed its vast experience to help us create a truly unique production process and recipe. Their contributions were invaluable.

Whether you produce in-house or use a third-party distiller, having people with the right experience, expertise and passion will ultimately make the difference between a good product and a great product.

  1. Make Long-term Business Relationships

You need to source ingredients, distil your spirit, bottle it, add well-designed labels and export, distribute, market and sell to different countries.

To ensure the smoothest and most reliable supply chain, it is recommended to choose your partners and suppliers wisely. We insist that our partners adhere to the following criteria:

  1. Do they possess the best possible experience and expertise?
  2. Are they passionate about our business?
  3. Could we develop a friendship with them?

While the first two are critical (and obvious), for us, the third element is equally important. You want to know that the people you are dealing with are people you like and trust. Our partnership with the Pisoni family has developed into a close friendship. We discuss business issues as friends and find mutually agreeable solutions.

  1. Create Your Brand

What do you want to evoke as your customers drink your product? How does that shape the packaging and label? Make sure everything communicates your brand in a consistent and appealing way.

We wanted every aspect of Cadello to connect to 18th century Venetian masked balls.

In Venice, casa is abbreviated to ‘ca. We named our new spirit after a fictitious Venetian palace where masked balls would have been held. Hence… Ca’ Dello… Cadello.

The head of our logo is a dragon, representing China (several ingredients come from the old Silk Route). The tail of the logo is a ‘ferro’ from the Venetian gondola, representing Italy.

‘88’ represents the fact that we have 8 ingredients and, in Chinese culture, 88 is the luckiest number. The mask in the background represents the masked balls.

Start from basic principles: Why did you create your spirit and for whom? Then consider your story, including your brand name, before drilling down into the specifics like the bottle and label design.

  1. Test the Market

It’s important to test your spirit.

We tested Cadello in Switzerland for 7 months before we formally launched Cadello in the UK in Sept 2018.

You should be prepared to take on board feedback and develop your product or brand accordingly. It may feel like a sacrifice, but you’ll end up with a better product.

With a good palate and an interesting idea you can develop a potentially successful new spirit.  However, alongside the spirit itself you need an exciting brand story to capture people’s imagination.  I wish you every success.


Matt Dunn is co-founder of Cadello, a new, category-defining spirit produced by a 150year-old family-owned distillery in Italy. A unique flavour combining eight ingredients, Cadello is perfect served neat or in cocktails.




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