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St-Germain using bikes for on-demand delivery service in NYC

September 21, 2015

This week, St-Germain and startup Minibar are using a fleet of 10 bikes to deliver cocktails across Manhattan and Brooklyn.This week, St-Germain and startup Minibar are using a fleet of 10 bikes to deliver cocktails across Manhattan and Brooklyn.
This week, St-Germain and startup Minibar are using a fleet of 10 bikes to deliver cocktails across Manhattan and Brooklyn.Courtesy of St-Germain

Minibar, the on-demand alcohol delivery service, has got a new set of wheels to cart cocktail shipments across New York City: a French-style bike. French liqueur brand St-Germain has partnered with the startup to send out a fleet of 10 cocktail “Biketenders” that will deliver carafes of St-Germain based cocktails.

St-Germain’s bike fleet is delivering cocktails from Thursday through Saturday this week throughout Brooklyn and in Manhattan south of 96th street. The “Biketenders” already cruised along the streets of Seattle this summer, where St-Germain ran a similar offering that was a hit with businesses. At $33 per order, St-Germain is dropping off a carafe large enough to serve five (at a cost of $6.60 per drink).

The quirky promotion is part of a broader effort by startups like Drizly and BrewDrop to deliver beer, wine, and spirits to drinkers. Many of these platforms don’t hold inventory of the alcoholic beverages. Instead, they act as a middleman between the consumer and local alcohol retailers.

St-Germain worked with ride-share startup Uber in Seattle but is leaning on Minibar’s platform in New York City. Minibar’s app and website are likely a better fit, as consumers are already using it for alcohol beverage orders.

St-Germain was founded in 2007 and was acquired about six years later by Bacardi. It has positioned itself nicely to benefit from two prevailing alcohol-beverage trends: cocktails and the apéritif occasion (when drinks are meant to be consumed before a meal).

A $1,000 limited-edition St-Germain bicycle.Courtesy of St-Germain

This isn’t the first time St-Germain has put its beverages on wheels. In 2012, it sold a limited-edition bike that cost $1,000 and came with a beverage strap holder for the liqueur. The brand’s logo features a bike because St-Germain’s harvesters used to bike through fields in France to spot the elderflowers used in its recipe. St-Germain uses roughly 1,000 of those flowers for each bottle of the liqueur, though it no longer relies on the bikes for flower picking.

St-Germain is enjoying a strong run in the U.S. Sales doubled in 2010 and again in each of the following two years, according to Chicago-based market research firm IRI. Though sales are no longer climbing at such a rapid pace, St-Germain posted heady growth the past two-and-a-half years. So far in 2015, the brand’s sales are up almost 27% in the channels tracked by IRI. That far exceeds the broader spirits category, which has generally posted revenue growth in the low single digits across all brands in the U.S.

“St-Germain is like sunshine in a glass,” said Camille Vidal, the brand’s global ambassador. She praised the liqueur for its versatility, which can be used as a mixer with popular spirits like gin or vodka.

A headline in an earlier version of this story misspelled St-Germain’s name. An earlier version also misstated New York liquor law restrictions. The errors have been corrected.