In the new year, various consumers commonly make resolutions to “try something new.” As we enter 2022, it looks as though more business operations, including the beverage market, are taking this to heart with entries into the non-fungible token (NFT) market.
In mid-November 2021, Brandessence Market Research shared data that identified NFT transaction growth of 328% during the first half and third quarter of 2021.
“The growing non-fungible token market size, due to growing number of transactions in the NFT marketplace, remains the defining trend of growth,” the company states in a press release. “Growing entry of major players including Microsoft, Home Depot, Tesla, Whole Foods, Starbucks, and [the] increasing appeal of tokenization through crypto currencies remain a key driver of growth.”
For those not as a familiar with NFTs, Brandessence Market Research defines the item as a unique and non-interchangeable unit that can vary widely. The market research firm also highlights the importance to differentiate NFTs from cryptocurrencies.
“Cryptocurrencies provide an identical and interchangeable value in each unit, which can be traded for the other,” the market research firm explains. “On the other hand, NFTs offer a unique value in each data unit, and are ideal for exchanges of rare collectibles like ‘digitally signed copy of the first tweet by Twitter CEO’ among others.”
More and more beverage-makers are dipping into the NFT marketplace. BACARDĺ developed its first-ever NFT in connection with its limited-edition BACARDĺ Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish that launched in the fall. BACARDĺ teamed up with famed celebrity photographer Cam Kirk to create the NFT, with proceeds of its sale benefiting the “Backing the B.A.R.” initiative, presented by the NAACP. The NFT lives as a piece of art showcasing the new cask finish, interlaced with digital effects and interactive motion graphics, the company says.
“Every time I take on a new project, I approach it with the highest level of precision and passion. I saw that exact precision and passion from the Master Blenders when they introduced me to the new Sherry Cask Finish and it was my honor to capture it for a fellow rum fan,” Kirk stated at the time of the launch. “This is my first-ever NFT, so I knew it had to be a truly special collaboration.”
Beverage-makers also have utilized NFTs as part of a sweepstakes for consumers. Fountain Hard Seltzer developed a yield-bearing Fountain NFT fridge where 15 winners received the fridge. Every day in 2022, Fountain Fridges will yield tokens for free Fountain Hard Seltzers, the company says.
"Continuing on our quest to be the brand that brings sparkle to any occasion, we at Fountain created our NFT fridge as a fun, modern way to connect with our fans," said Fountain co-Founders, Bruce Wilpon and Tomas Larsson in a statement. "The intentionally vibrant design reinforces the idea that we are serious about continuing to serve up joy, day in and day out."
When consumers entered the sweepstakes with their email, Magic.link automatically generated a blockchain wallet. If the consumer won, the Fountain Fridge NFT was sent to the associated blockchain wallet created by Magic.link.
The Fountain NFT Fridge was built on top of Polygon, a carbon-neutral blockchain. Interactions using this technology are no more energy intensive than using traditional web servers, it explains. Fountain chose Polygon because it’s an environmentally friendly solution for a blockchain experience.
Additionally, Robert Mondavi Winery announced a partnership with French luxury porcelain house Bernardaud to revolutionize the world of wine collecting and authentication, it said.
Titled “MCMLXVI” as a nod to the year the winery was established (1966), the collection featured a limited series of 1,966 Limoges porcelain 1.5-liter bottles. The magnums hold custom wine blends created by the acclaimed winemakers of the Robert Mondavi Winery Technical Council — Geneviève Janssens, Andy Erickson and Thomas Rivers Brown. Each bottle also was offered exclusively through generative art NFTs.
Developed in strategic partnership with VaynerNFT, the bottles were produced by generative artist Clay Heaton, who created the 1,966 original works of digital art at the moment of purchase. The tokens act as a “key” to unlock redemption of the wine bottles, exclusive winery experiences and insider access to future offerings.
As 2022 continues, we will see how many more beverage-makers see the potential value of the NFT marketplace.