When drank responsibly, alcohol can be a welcome addition to many social events and celebrations. It has been used for its mood and confidence boosting effects since the Neolithic period. But despite the abundant changes society has undergone since then, the substance largely remains the same as it always was. Smith and Sinclair are here to all change that with their pioneering alcoholic pastilles, made for the 21st century consumer. Expert Market met with co-founder Melanie Goldsmith back in April 2016, to find out more about what we consider to be London’s coolest product.
How It All Began
The pastilles were initially created for a series of dating events, back in 2014. The events championed adult escapism; held on the floor and filled with board games. But hosts Melanie and Emile were struggling to find a suitable product to serve during these evenings, so came up with their own solution, to deconstruct cocktails into a sweet-like form. This saved time waiting in line at the bar, and kept with the childlike theme. The idea was a hit. The unadulterated indulgence of these “edible drinks” received widespread attention and so they decided to take the product further.
Recipe for Success
Neither Melanie nor Emile had had any retail experience before starting Smith and Sinclair, so it was a steep learning curve to begin with, from setting up a market stall to building a website. But as the first people to successfully solidify alcohol at an ambient temperature – and ensure a shelf life of 12 months – Smith & Sinclair’s unique, patent-pending processes propelled them from achievement to achievement. They quickly outgrew the churches, schools and other communal spaces where the products were originally made, and found their first brand partner in Secret Cinema, an immersive movie experience company. They too have taken a familiar event and changed the concept of how customers engage with it, making them an ideal choice to work with.
Following this they were featured on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube, and won an award for best Food and Drink product from Not on the High Street. Within a year Smith and Sinclair were being stocked in one of the finest stores in the country, Harvey Nichols.
Today Smith and Sinclair create edible cocktails for more than 30 alcoholic brands and retail in many locations including Harrods and Selfridges. The pastilles’ range currently includes whiskey, vodka, rum, and gin varieties, and their success has enabled them to produce a range of new alcoholic treats too, including lollipops, edible perfume and alcoholic dip-dabs. They have even opened a pop up cocktail bar where customers can make their own creations, and built a sherbet wall, personalised gin experience, and edible vapour orbs and bubbles.
Melanie believes their growing popularity is down to the fact that while “people will always create more and more liquids, no one (else) has really looked at the context of drinking rituals.
Whatever the future holds for Smith and Sinclair, Melanie is confident. “What we’re doing is pretty ground breaking and we plan that all of our products continue to go that way.”
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