Targeting a Trend to Create & Corner an Untapped Market
Building an untapped market around America's margarita craze required engineers to work backward from the final taste to the social experience to the overall style and design.
The frozen margarita is the most popular alcoholic drink in the United States, but making a really good one at home is difficult. THRIVE* teamed up with Jarden, a global housewares manufacturer, to democratize the drink with a Margaritaville-branded frozen concoction maker. Because why shouldn’t everyone be able to have the perfect frosty, fruity beverage in the comfort of their own home?
With the frozen margarita, ice consistency is key. Typical consumer blenders chop ice instead of shaving it, failing to create the margarita’s signature, slushie-like feel. A compact, counter-top ice shaving system simply didn’t exist at the consumer level. We recognized the opportunity to shave off a piece of the market by first reengineering the staid mechanics of blending to give margarita fans that iconic icy texture. The result was a two-part design that shaved ice at the top and blended it at the bottom.
Most competitive mixers hid their ice-crushing, drink-mixing works from view, making the process mysterious and a little confusing. We realized that mixing your margarita is part of the fun at a party. Our design injected a little theatre into the mix, using transparent housing to make the process of shaving ice and stirring the concoction a stage show worth gathering around at parties.
KEEP THE STYLE ICONIC—NOT KITSCHY
Since the Margaritaville brand was known for its parrots and palm trees, Jarden was tempted to follow the design of other novelty drink makers—a tiki bar vibe rather than a professional bartender feel. We helped the company see beyond tropical fruits and feathers to a solid-feeling, classic aesthetic that hinted at island style without going overboard. The result pushed the product into the premium category and inspired buyers to use the device for numerous frozen drink needs, not just summertime staples.
In the end, thanks to thoughtful engineering, tasty end results and passionate early adopters, our Margaritaville drink machine launched an entirely new, $50M product category: the frozen concoction maker. Today, the Margaritaville drink maker has the market cornered and commands more than 50% brand share at its price point. More than a million units have been sold since its launch. Today, the frozen drink is more than a fad—it’s a kitchen mainstay.
“[It] makes fantastic frozen drinks and is truly a lot of fun to watch the machine shave the ice and mix the drinks automatically! Love it!”Product review on MargaritavilleCargo.com
“Finally! Flawless frozen drinks! Very little mess, works so much better than your everyday blender, and the margaritas were mixed better than any I have ever had.”Product review on MargaritavilleCargo.com
“I got this about a month ago for my husband’s birthday. I became an instant hero. My husband loved the machine….and it looks very cool on my countertop!”Product review on MargaritavilleCargo.com
“This is my fourth Margaritaville Key West Frozen Concoction Maker as I keep giving them as gifts!! They are the staple of every get together we have.”Product review on MargaritavilleCargo.com
“Margaritas are just the tip of the iceberg! I’ve gotten really creative and have also used it for making snow cones and slushies for the little ones.”Product review on MargaritavilleCargo.com