Proving Your Market & Preserving Peace of Mind: Starting Sincerely Sabella

Proving Your Market & Preserving Peace of Mind: Starting Sincerely Sabella

Kendra Kuppin wears many hats. She’s an entrepreneur at large—and an intrapreneur at ZX Ventures. Her latest and greatest project is Sincerely Sabella: a new premium sparkling wine spritz brand she is developing in collaboration with ZX. In Kendra’s own words:

When people ask what I do, I sometimes say “intrapreneur,” other times I’m a “founder,” a “global manager,” or that I work in “new product innovation.” At its core, I am an employee of ZX Ventures, the global growth and innovation group within Anheuser-Busch InBev, paid a salary like any other company employee; however, I’m given the freedom and decision-making rights of an entrepreneur.

With a previous cocktail-startup launch already under her belt—and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management—Kendra brings at least as much firepower to her partnership with ZX as we provide in return. Below, we pick her brain about how she got here, where she’s going next—and her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

What was the inspiration behind creating your brand?

In my experience, the drink options available at events are consistent: wine, spirits, and beer. In other words: mostly very sugary, with a high ABV to boot. I’m rarely excited about these old standbys, especially if I’m only seeking a mild buzz.

The same goes for quick, convenient alcohol options you might pick up on the way to a party. These drinks are largely targeted to a younger demographic—with the same boozy, sugary downsides.

After some research, I decided the gap in the market was real. I wanted to create a drink for people like me: something light, refreshing, not too unhealthy and not too sweet, with a moderate ABV. My unique offering would combine the appeal of convenience with premium quality. That was the genesis of Sincerely Sabella.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs who are trying to secure funding?

It’s vital to go out into the market to prove why the product will work. But stay positive—don’t let yourself get discouraged. When you see successful startups conquering the world, remember that it's taken them a long time and an enormous amount of work to get to that point. Success is determined by your ability to stay in the game and remain optimistic in the face of rejection.

In what ways did the Zxlerator change your approach to entrepreneurship?

Sincerely Sabella isn’t my first launch. My previous venture was also a cocktail company, but I didn’t do enough preliminary market research proving why the business was needed.

Being part of the Zxlerator has made me more disciplined. Through their program, I’ve gained a better understanding of—and invaluable experience with—demonstrating consumer excitement via product testing.

What kind of challenges have you faced?

You have to learn to wear many hats as an entrepreneur. Since starting Sincerely Sabella, my role has changed every three months: from collecting and analysing deep consumer insights, to overseeing manufacturing and production, to branding and design, and so on. You have to learn to rapidly realign your brain to new roles and needs in a way that is unique to entrepreneurship.

How do you de-stress?

I immerse myself in nature. I love being near water: it helps me reflect and reset.

Working out is also crucial—for both my body and my mind. It helps me get out of mindset traps and gives me perspective. Sitting at a desk all day will inevitably create blinders on your worldview—but you can remove them by placing yourself in a new environment.

Whatever approach works for you, just do it. Destressing is incredibly important—all of my other skills depend on it. You aren’t good at anything if you're too stressed.

What are your goals moving forward?

My personal goal is to make sure my experiences outpace my age. For example, I’m trying to keep my tally of countries visited higher than the number of years I’ve been alive. So far so good.

My other big goal is to build a community of female entrepreneurs, especially in London. The power of community is real—we can achieve things together we could never achieve alone.

Sincerely Sabella Launches in London, Offering Modern Drinkers a New and Refreshing Alternative

SINCERELY SABELLA LAUNCHES IN LONDON, OFFERING MODERN DRINKERS A NEW AND REFRESHING ALTERNATIVE

The sparkling low-alcohol wine is the first of its kind for London’s ready-to-drink market.

LONDON - Sincerely Sabella, a new premium, sparkling wine spritz funded through ZX Ventures, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s global growth and innovation group, today announced its launch in over 60 on-and off-trade locations across London. Additionally, the canned beverage is also available to purchase through online grocer, Ocado.

Sincerely Sabella was developed last year as part of the Zxlerator program, ZX Ventures’ internal accelerator, and is the brainchild of founder Kendra Kuppin. The premium sparkling wine spritz is made with Italian white wine, water, a touch of blood orange juice and a hint of bitters.

“We realized that there was a huge gap in ready-to-drink offerings in London,” Kuppin said. “We were challenged to create a product that addressed the growth in wine and spirits and discovered there was a very real desire for lower alcohol products, decreased formality, and movement towards high quality convenience products.”

Sabella’s flavour profile is light, bubbly and citrus-forward with a 5% ABV, and a recommended retail price of 2.70 GBP per can. Aimed at engaging the modern drinker, Sincerely Sabella’s bold taste and stylish branding are a substitution for those looking to upgrade their standard drink of choice to something unique and sophisticated and at a friendly price point.

Sincerely Sabella is expected to expand to 100 on-and off-trade locations later this summer.

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About Sincerely Sabella Sincerely Sabella is a light and refreshing premium sparkling wine-based spritz with a touch of blood orange juice and a hint of bitters. The ready-to-drink beverage believes in serving up the unexpected and is about living life through their own lens, curating experiences, and paving paths, but not following in the footsteps of others. For more information visit https://sincerelysabella.co.uk/ or follow Sincerely Sabella on Instagram.

About ZX Ventures Established in 2015, ZX Ventures is the global growth and innovation group within Anheuser-Busch InBev. Headquartered in New York City, ZX Ventures invests in and develops new products and businesses that meet emerging consumer needs. For more information visit ZX-Ventures.com or follow ZX Ventures on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Anheuser-Busch and Babe Wine Partner to Further Strengthen Industry Leading Portfolio With Increased Investment in Wine

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Anheuser-Busch and Babe Wine Partner to Further Strengthen Industry Leading Portfolio With Increased Investment in Wine

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Partnership Addresses Consumer Need For Innovative and Great-Tasting Wine

JUNE 28, 2019-NEW YORK, NY - The country’s leading brewer, Anheuser-Busch, through its affiliate ZX Ventures, will acquire the remaining stake in the disruptive wine company, Babe Wine. Babe Wine’s partnership began back in 2018 when the company’s global growth and innovation group, ZX Ventures, acquired a minority stake in the company.

Since joining the Anheuser-Busch family, distribution of Babe Wine’s popular Rosé, Pinot Grigio and Red wine has increased dramatically, offering more consumers in more locations the opportunity to enjoy the portable and photogenic pop culture phenomenon.

Anheuser-Busch has continued to expand its roster in the Beyond Beer arena, leveraging its core capabilities to produce and distribute a portfolio of beverages designed to keep up with evolving consumer tastes. Babe falls under the beyond beer umbrella with other Anheuser-Busch brands like Drinkworks, Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer, and, the newest addition, Cutwater Spirits. The expansion of this partnership is consistent with the brewer’s overall strategy to drive growth in the U.S. by providing consumers with winning brands for every occasion.

“We pride ourselves on putting the consumer first and evolving with them through innovation and cultural engagement, and Babe Wine is in a class by itself when it comes to understanding their drinkers and building brand loyalty,” said Michel Doukeris, CEO, Anheuser-Busch. “We’re looking forward to taking this partnership to the next level and using our distribution capabilities to share Babe’s great portfolio with more consumers around the country.”

Launched as Swish Beverages in 2016, Babe Wine founders Josh "The Fat Jewish" Ostrovsky, and brothers David Oliver Cohen and Tanner Cohen, developed a unique wine proposition that utilized their extensive social media following, empowering Babe to be one of the most photographed wines on Instagram.

“Anheuser-Busch pioneered the modern beverage landscape,” David Oliver Cohen, Co-Founder of Babe Wine said. “We have a dream to make Babe into America’s #1 wine, and A-B has the vision, the capabilities, the people and the network to help us get there.” Babe Wine will continue to be led by Josh Ostrovsky, David Oliver Cohen and their senior leadership team.

About Babe Wine

Launched as Swish Beverages in 2016, Babe Wine founders Josh "The Fat Jewish" Ostrovsky, and brothers David Oliver Cohen and Tanner Cohen developed a unique brand-led wine proposition that utilized their extensive social media audience. Babe was created with the mission to simplify the saturated wine category by introducing a fun, inclusive and portable product to consumers.

The New York based company’s portfolio of photogenic and delicious Rosé, Pinot Grigio and Red canned wine has empowered Babe to be one of the most photographed wines on Instagram.

About Anheuser-Busch

For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has carried on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate 23 breweries, 14 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities, and have more than 18,000 colleagues across the United States. We are home to several of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry.

From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home.

For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com or follow Anheuser-Busch on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About ZX Ventures

Established in 2015, ZX Ventures is the global growth and innovation group within Anheuser-Busch InBev. Headquartered in New York City, ZX Ventures invests in and develops new products and businesses that meet emerging consumer needs.

For more information visit ZX-Ventures.com or follow ZX Ventures on LinkedIn and Instagram.

BanQu Raises Series A Extension Round From ZX Ventures/AB InBev To Continue Its Geographic Expansion and Product Development In The Supply Chain Transparency & Traceability Space For Global Brands

BanQu Raises Series A Extension Round From ZX Ventures/AB InBev To Continue Its Geographic Expansion and Product Development In The Supply Chain Transparency & Traceability Space For Global Brands

BanQu Inc. deepens its partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev through an investment deal with ZX Ventures, the company’s global growth and innovation group.