What's up with the Rise of Celebrity Alcohol Brands?

Drinks | Toni | 10 Minute Read
If, like me, you’ve started to notice more and more celebrity faces plastered over the liquor aisles in the supermarkets, you can rest assured that you’re not going crazy.

What's up with the Rise of Celebrity Alcohol Brands?

Drinks | Toni | 10 Minute Read

Nowadays it seems as if every celebrity and their dog has their own alcohol brand. From A List heartthrobs like Margot Robbie and George Clooney, to sports superstars like Michael B. Jordan and David Beckham, celebrities across the whole spectrum of stardom are making their way into the alcohol market. If, like me, you’ve started to notice more and more celebrity faces plastered over the liquor aisles in the supermarkets, you can rest assured that you’re not going crazy; the number of celebrities investing in, and starting their own alcohol brands truly has risen exponentially in the past few years.

The question is...why?

Did everyone see George Clooney looking flawless in his Casa Amigos advertisements (daddy) and get FOMO? Or did celebs see Kendall’s (rather turbulent) foray into the tequila market and think, “fuck, if she can do it, I definitely can too”.

Well, I can’t speak for the motivation of the global elite, but what I can say, is that in the majority of these cases, celebrities’ gambits have paid off...like, really, really well. Ryan Reynolds’ investment in Aviation Gin, for example, saw him cash out after only 3 years of work (slay) with a whopping $610 million. That’s a relatively big success for Reynolds, and an earth shattering amount of money for any normal individual. The rich just keep on getting richer, as they say. The alcoholic beverage industry is certainly a lucrative one, and it has only become more so in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. No surprises there. If you didn’t turn to the bottle as a coping strategy in those dark days, all I can say is you’re much stronger than I am...flashback to drunk zoom calls *shudder*. Statista has predicted that by 2025, the global market size for alcoholic beverages will surpass $2.2 trillion. The alc industry is thriving, despite what the sober curious movement would have us think (go read my article if you don’t know what this means!). It makes sense, then, that celebrities looking for big profit potential would flock to this market sector.

But, a fuck load of industries are lucrative, including the automotive one...and we don’t exactly see any Kardashian X Chevrolet collabs, or Lady Gaga convertibles now do we? Even though Gaga - the queen of versatility - would inevitably slay the car game and you can’t change my mind on that. So, what it is about alcohol that attracts celeb backing? Some have theorised that its the fast turnaround times related to the industry that temps star investment. Some spirits, like tequila, can be produced quickly. When a unique product can be manufactured quickly, it can subsequently be marketed, shipped and sold quickly. When a product takes a long time to make, it’s conversely harder to sell at a high volume. Makes sense, right? It tracks, therefore, that celebrity investors might consider investing in, or creating their own alc to be a lower risk industry than say - car manufacturing (duh). Especially since recreational products like booze come with way less technical expertise. I mean, how hard can making booze be when celeb Rock and Rollers and the Desperate Housewives can it pull off?

At the end of the day, most celebrity alcohol brands that you see at the supermarket aren’t actually created by the celebrity...they’re usually either a big investor (like daddy Ryan Reynolds) or just a pretty face for the bottle (like Clooney’s tequila). Either way, celebrity endorsement is a great way for relatively unknown alcohol brands to get consumer attention, and presents a huge payday opportunity for celebs looking to diversify their revenue streams (again: the rich just keep on getting richer!). It’s a win win...for everyone except for us, the humble consumer, as we get marketed into paying a premium price for what is usually pretty average alcohol... I’m looking at you 19 Crimes Wine, Snoop’s not fooling anybody with that glorified grape juice.

No shame if celeb alcohol is your genuine preference, but I’m just saying, think twice before you invest your hard earned dough into what’s typically just a marketing ploy for unsuccessful alcohol brands, or unsuccessful celebs. I said what I said, and I meant what I meant.

With that being said, here’s our office’s top picks of the star studded booze...just in case you were tempted to try it...

The office’s top picks of celeb owned alc:

Adam (co-founder - slay): Tesla Tequila Limited Edition Set

I literally cannot believe that this exists. Like, am I the only person that thinks Tesla Tequila would taste like petrol??? Cars and tequila don’t exactly mix well in my opinion. Neither does Elon Musk and anything that comes near my mouth. I feel like I would get herpes-by-proxy by drinking from this terrifying looking bottle. Nonetheless, this is not a joke, Elon Musk really has released a tequila (wtf), and our co-founder Adam really did pick this as his fave celeb alcohol brand. There are more questions than answers. I am more confused than you are.


Maisy (social media queen) - Kylie Minogue’s rosé Prosecco

As with everything Maisie does, this pick is flawless. Even if the wine tasted like battery acid, the mere association with pop princess Kylie is enough to make it good in my books. That being said, Kylie’s wine brand, and particularly her rosé prosecco, is a huge fucking success. Like, it was the top selling alcohol brand in the UK in 2022, kind of success. No, genuinely. After releasing this objectively delicious bubbly pink, the brand is now worth £18.9 MILLION. There’s only one world that describes this fact: slay.

Bertie (global head of sales) - Brangelina’s Chateau Miraval Rose

Bertie, the self-proclaimed “global head of sales”,  has described his ideal summer’s day as “a bottle (or five) of crisp, pale rose” with “the chaps” in one of said chaps’ country estate garden (hopefully you can hear his posh accent through your screens). In true Bertie fashion, in one infamous escapade with his band of chaps, 37 bottles of rose were consumed between 7 people. Idk about you but I’d wind up in a hospital if I chugged that amount of rose. It is no surprise, therefore, that Bertie’s top pick is the world renowned jewel of the Brangelina (ex) empire: Chateau Miraval rose. There’s no denying that Miraval Rose, particularly ‘Whispering Angel’, is an excellent wine. It’s perfectly light, crisp and refreshing, and is surprisingly affordable (for what it is, that is). I wholeheartedly endorse this choice.

Freddie (marketing big boss) -Bumba rum

Freddie is my boss. I can’t say anything against this choice. I will leave my opinion at the door. What I will say, is that I can find verrryyy little information about this rum. Like, so little that i’m sceptical that it even exists. As a non-rum drinker , and a non-lil Wayne listener (sue me) this is perhaps the last celebrity alc collab I would pick. But, if this is your thing, go scour the shelves and try find out if this rum is a myth or just super hard to find.

Maria (fellow content girly) - Renais - Emma Watson gin

This is an amazing pick from my marketing girly Maria. Ok, Emma Watson is literally the last person I expect to throw their hat into the alcohol ring. Like, she’s too wholesome for this celeb rat race...or so I thought. Turns out she comes from a family of winemakers. Her father, Chris, for example, has owned vineyards in Chablis for over 30 years. Following in his footsteps, Emma has created a gin inspired by the wine of chablis... it’s giving alcohol nepo baby, but like in the best way possible. I absolutely love the concept of this gin. Not only does ‘wine inspired gin’ sound delightful, but the fact that she “upcycles” discarded grape skins from the wine making process makes this a super sustainable product - which is not something I can usually say about celeb alcohol brands. Emma Watson has always been the GOAT, it’s not a surprise, therefore, that she’s slaying the alcohol game.

Amelia (woman in tech) - Vanderpump Rose

Real Housewives could fill an entire liquor store will all of their various alcohol endeavours. From Bethany Frankel’s highly problematic “Skinnygirl” wine (I wish I was making this up), to Tamara Judge and Vicki Gunvalson's “Wine By Wives” (what an inspired name), Real Housewives alcohol seems to hinge on one universal USP: dysfunctional wine mom energy. As much as I admire Lisa Vanderpump (mainly for her LA restaurant offerings), I hate to say that this wine seems no different to me. From the tacky packaging to it’s description as “acidic, tastes like strawberries and cream but not sweet at all” (ew), it frankly sounds horrible to me. Sorry not sorry, I will not be buying this.

Mateo (male in tech) - Dos Hombres

I have four words in response to this: Bryan Cranston is Daddy. I don’t care if Dos Hombres tastes like bile (which by all accounts it doesn’t), anything Bryan Cranston does is gold. This opinion is entirely shaped by the fact that i’m watching Breaking Bad RN. Am I biased? Yes. Does it matter? Probs not. Apparently this Mezcal is actually pretty fucking yum.

Phil (idk what he does but good craic) - Matthew McConaughey’s Wild Turkey Bourbon

Phil’s absolutely nailed the brief with this pick. Nothing screams well-executed celeb alcohol endorsement than “alright, alright, alright” legend McConaughey’s intensely masculine Bourbon foray. By all accounts, this bourbon is really good...well, as good as a bourbon can truly be. I’ll be honest, I’m never going to enjoy any whisky-adjacent drink, but if McConaughey asked me to, I’d only drink this for the rest o my life. I’m not ashamed to admit that. Just look into those eyes. Dreamy.

Izzo (marketing mummy) - Danny Devito limoncello

When Izzo discovered that Danny Devito had a Limoncello brand the first hing she said was “aww, that’s nice”. And to me, that perfectly encapsulates the unlikely combination of Hollywood’s most charming short king, and Italy’s fabulous sweet liquor: it’s just really nice. Although, i’m sceptical that this limoncello actually exists, I truly hope that it’s true, cos the only thing more iconic than Devito himself, is the mental image in my mind of him making Limoncello. Please don’t take this away from me.

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