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Cannabis in Ecommerce: How Brēz Set a New Standard for Alcohol-Alternative Beverages

Cannabis in Ecommerce: How Brēz Set a New Standard for Alcohol-Alternative Beverages

Every social drinker has experienced the unpleasant after-effects of a night on the town, and the older you get, the longer the hangovers are. 

Frankly, we’re tired of it. 

It’s not only Millennials who are leaving alcohol behind, but Gen Z, too. A Gallup Poll recently discovered that 62% of adults under 35 consume alcohol, down from 72% a decade ago. 

In a comprehensive study of Millennials and Gen Z alcohol and non-alcohol beverage purchase behavior, millennials drank more alcohol than Gen Z. The only category that Gen Z consumed more heavily than Millennials? Non-alcoholic cocktails. 

It’s been clear for some time that trends around alcohol consumption are changing, with most consumers seeking an alcohol-free alternative beverage that won’t land them in a state of regret the next day. Millennials and Gen Z have both contributed to the demand for alternatives to alcoholic beverages, and the non-alcoholic category is expected to grow by 25% between 2022 and 2026.

One interesting data-point from the IWSR study indicates that 82% of non-alcoholic drinkers also consume alcohol, which highlights that it’s “more about moderate consumption rather than complete abstinence”. There’s even a new-age term for it: “mindful drinking.” 

With this target demographic in mind, a company called Brēz launched a social tonic infused with cannabis and Lion’s Mane in just the right concentration to meet federal regulations to ship to all 50 states, and paired it with gorgeous branding and masterful marketing to send it on a rocket ship straight to the moon (no exaggeration).

In this article, we’ll discuss what Brēz is, what sets it apart, and a look at its January 2024 ecommerce statistics benchmarked against other Triple Whale Food & Beverage brands. Hint: they’re flying at a breakneck pace, and have set an almost impossible standard for other alcohol-alternative brands to follow.  

What is Brēz?

Brēz is a cannabis and mushroom-infused social tonic that creates a “uniquely pleasant social effect that helps you feel better without feeling worse”. All variants feature a base of a sparkling tonic of Italian lemon and elderflower, with Single or Double variants of functional ingredients that include THC, CBD, and Lion’s Mane. It’s vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and only 30 calories for the health-conscious imbibers. They say it’s subtle enough for mom to try, or stackable for your preferred experience.

What Sets Brēz Apart?

Founded in April of 2023 (April 20th, to be exact), Brēz has a couple of not-so-secret weapons: Aaron Nosbisch and Nick Shackelford. Aaron founded a social advertising agency in 2019 called Lucyd, which is specifically-focused on serving CBD/hemp, cannabis, psychedelic, and adaptogen brands. Nick Shackelford co-founded Konstant Kreative and Structured, two performance marketing agencies with tons of experience creating winning ad creatives and campaigns. Long story short, these guys know exactly how to market an “industry-disrupting” product, and it shows.  

Masterful Incorporation of Legal THC/CBD

Many entrepreneurs would love to create a beverage in the cannabis space, but with multiple regulations at the state level as well as federal, it can be difficult to get a grasp on where to focus effort to get the most return on investment. 

Brēz went straight to the most legal concentration you can sell in all 50 states, taking advantage of the 2018 farm bill that legalized hemp, as well as products containing hemp-derived psychoactive cannabinoids (including Delta-9 THC), so long as the concentration is limited to 0.3% THC by dry weight.

With continually-evolving legalization in different parts of the world, the cannabis market is projected to reach $60.79 billion in 2024. It’s the perfect time for an innovative product that will take advantage of the trends towards acceptance and use of a previously criminalized substance.  

Elegant, Elevated Packaging

The branding of these cans are an experience on their own; the rainbow-kissed, holographic cans make you feel like you’re going to float off in a bubble before you even take a sip. It’s got a new age feel, like you’re drinking something ahead of its time. Or maybe you’re going to enter a new portal of awareness. 

“Disrupting” the Alcohol Industry

As discussed above, younger generations like Gen Z are changing their habits, which has disrupted the alcohol industry already. Gen Z is actively seeking out experiences that allow them to have good vibes the night of, and the next day doesn’t feel like a train wreck (pretty smart, right?). Brēz just checks off all of those boxes at the exact right moment for an alcohol-alternative disruptor to take off. Combine their addition to the market (right place, right time) with their expertise (right people, right product) and you have a recipe for pretty astounding success. 

Ecommerce Performance for January 2024: Brēz vs. Food & Beverage Brands

It’s usually rare for companies to share growth statistics, but since Brēz’s revenue is a direct reflection on how their agencies perform, their success is also a testimonial for Lucyd, Konstant Kreative, and Structured. We decided to compare their ecommerce statistics for January 2024 with other Food & Beverage brands using Triple Whale. We compared them to brands in the $5-15 million revenue cohort (their peers), and also compared their stats to all brands in the Food & Beverage category. How do you suppose they did?

TL;DR: Brēz is killing it.


Brēz declared $640,000 in revenue for January 2024, with our $5-15 million annual revenue cohort coming in at $706,000, and all Food & Beverage brands putting up $237,305 in revenue. While very similar to the $5-15 million cohort, Brēz’s revenue is nearly 200% higher than all of Food & Beverage in January, which is especially impressive for a brand that’s not even one year old.

Repeat Orders

With only 39% of orders coming from repeat customers for Brēz in January 2024, they were quite a bit lower than a 50% repeat order rate for $5-15 million brands, and 60% for all Food & Beverage brands. This tells us that Brēz is aggressively scaling, with more of their orders going to brand new customers. Additionally, more established brands in all/$5-15 million cohorts have had more time to build up a customer base and enjoy more frequent re-orders. 

Ad Spend

Brēz’s ad spend ($150,802)  was nearly in line with the $5-15 million cohort ($167,621) and 100% higher than all brands ($83, 576). However, spending more isn’t necessarily the goal. Taking a look at Blended Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Brēz spends 7.6% less than the $5-15 million cohort and 33.16% less than all Food & Beverage brands to acquire a customer. That means, they know what they’re doing with that ad spend. 


The highest AOV award goes to Brēz, with $90. Across $5-15 million dollar brands, the average order value was $77, and across all brands it was $67. So while Brēz spends $35 to acquire a customer, they’re still coming out on top because customers are checking out with a much higher cart value (on average). 

Month-Over-Month Growth

With a 53% month-over-month growth from December 2023 to January 2024, Brēz has very clearly chosen to aggressively spend on advertising, even during a traditionally dry period for alcohol and alcohol-alternative beverage drinkers (as Dry January turns into Dry February…). While many beverage companies might see Dry January as a time to pull back on spend following the holidays, Brēz is an exception. While Brēz didn’t publish their monthly ad spend in December to compare month-over-month, we can assume it was high (based on their bullish January spend). 

Unlike Brēz, the $5-15 million cohort had a 30% drop in revenue compared to December 2023, and all Food & Beverage brands dropped by 20%. They took their foot off the gas with ad spend, whereas Brēz has a lead foot that shows no sign of letting up. 

What Can Food & Beverage Brands Learn from Brēz?

Product-market fit isn’t always easy, but it’s key. Brēz found a gap in the market and attacked it. They also were able to avoid pigeonholing themselves by creating a cannabis product that could be sold in every US state, which simplifies everything from branding to getting the product in the customer’s hands. 

They launched with one product variant and expanded to include the Double and Lion’s Mane only variants later in the year based on customer feedback (interested in the vibes of Brēz, but not the THC). We expect them to keep pushing the envelope with new products that are thoughtfully rolled out as they grow. 

Of course, it would help if like Brēz you had access to world-class marketers to understand and iterate on your brand’s marketing efforts. 

While we’re not Nick or Aaron, we know that the smartest marketers use Triple Whale to make better sense of their data to make better marketing decisions. Want to see what Triple Whale can do for your brand? Take a tour to see exactly how it works!  

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