A New Name to Watch: Nuvo, the Pink Vodka Alcohol has been with humanity from time immemorial. Throughout history people have worked to refine alcohol and make into something fit for rituals and even to collect. Alcohol that is crafted and collectible is often called artisanal…
Now a new product is making a name for itself. Nuvo, a sparkling vodka, from France has made a big splash in bars and liquor stores across the country. People are attracted to its promise of high quality. Its brand is taking off. What accounts for the new interest in artisinal spirits, and for Nuvo in particular? During the financial crisis of 2008, many luxury brands took a hit as people had less money to spend and had to scale back a lot of their spending habits. But as the recovery takes off, people are coming out of their hibernation and starting to spend time searching for new brands to try out. Nuvo has found a niche in the market and is riding that niche all the way to the bank. People want to feel good again. They want to be seen in the clubs with the latest thing. And Nuvo is that latest thing. Nuvo was originally intended to be marketed towards women, but its creators soon found that it had wide appeal and sought to market it towards both men and women. It is an artisinal liqueur, but much of the artisinal quality is communicated through the product's packaging. A bottle of Nuvo looks very similar to a bottle of perfume. The colour too suggests that this is something you might find behind the counter at an expensive department store. The creators have taken the aesthetic quality of a perfume bottle and put a new liqueur twist on the concept. Americans seem to love it, especially young New Yorkers. A survey of a number of bar-going young women by this reporter found that Nuvo was one of the hottest drinks of the season. Sally, a 24-year-old real estate developer called Nuvo a “breath of fresh air.” She gushed when talking about the bottle's design, “I feel more like I'm in a boudoir when I see the bottle than a bar. It looks beautiful.” Others agree with her opinion. A word frequently used to describe it is “chic” (Scott). It plays up its Frenchness, which in America is a byword for sophistication and class. Nuvo has made a splash in the city. The product's website describes the drink as an “accessory” and plays up its trendiness. It boasts that it will “dazzle your taste buds” and says that it is a premium vodka infused with passion fruit nectar. The product is evocative of artisinal champagnes and capitalizes on that concept to suggest it is a luxurious product. Little is said about how it is actually made or produced. The packaging and branding do all the work in suggesting it is artisinal. The product has been featured in a number of music videos and has rapidly become a part of the cultural furniture, largely due to its distinctive bottle, which again suggest craft and care in the production process. People know what the product is because of its bright colours and unique shape. This is an important point. Some artisinal alcohol products such as bourbon have a powerful story to tell about how they are made. The bourbon must stored in particular barrels for a certain amount of years at a certain temperature. There is a real craft to the product. For Nuvo, there may be a similar process, but much more emphasis is placed on the branding and marketing aspects to suggest that it is artisinal. Even the brand-name itself suggests refinement and freshness. The word “nouveau”—French for “new”—has been shortened and made easier to pronounce, while still maintaining a kind of exoticism. While there is much to praise about the product, it is not for everyone. A story from last year indicates that Nuvo is so distinctive there has ...
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