Principal investigator: Caroline Schauer

University: Drexel University

Industry partner: Altered State Distillery

The market for ready-to-drink (RTD) canned cocktails is growing at approximately 12% annually. With the rapid expansion in this product category, it is essential to differentiate a new product from the crowd through identification of target markets and optimization of product design. While making unique craft-distilled RTD cocktails for a target audience is a formidable challenge, another concern regards packaging. Fresh fruit juice ingredients often suffer from significant degradation during storage, so to make a long-lasting product a new packaging design is needed to extend shelf life. 

This research project will build the product design, formulation, packaging chemistry, and commercialization for two to three new RTD canned cocktails for Altered State Distillery in Erie, Pennsylvania. The goal is to bring unique craft RTDs to market, thereby growing our Northwest Pennsylvania food and beverage manufacturing industry and creating new jobs. The project proposes: (1) recipe development for shelf stability and flavor profile with a focus on the use of natural ingredients, (2) active polymer can liner development for antioxidant protection of natural flavors, and (3) marketing of the new products, including can artwork, supply chain connections, RTD market and target market analysis, cost analysis, and final marketing push.