Thursday, June 5, 2014

Two Moms Build Buzz for a Boozy Spin on a Classic Drink

Story by Michelle Juergen

Two Moms Build Buzz for a Boozy Spin on a Classic Drink
Image credit: Photography by Nicole Caldwell

It's not the hardest sell in the world: A product called Adult Chocolate Milk naturally sounds like a good idea. Add that it tastes delicious and is peddled by rapper Ginuwine and girls in sexy milkman outfits and it's no surprise that Adult Beverage Company's flagship product quickly took off.
The inspiration to "Re-taste your youth … at 40 proof" came from a simple Facebook status update posted by co-founder Tracy Reinhardt: "Tracy is enjoying some adult chocolate milk." The single mom had recently gone through a divorce and was relaxing one night with a homemade concoction after she'd put the kids to bed. She often mixed up different brews, but this particular creation--chocolate milk, vodka and a few secret ingredients--sparked much discussion from her friends online, including comments from high school friend Nikki Halbur.
"It totally became Facebook fodder: ‘Had a rough day, wish I had some ACM,'" says Halbur, also a mother of two. "Things are so hectic, you're up to your armpits in babies, and you just want to escape to a simpler time. And that was the appeal."
At the time, Halbur was looking to invest in a business she believed in, and decided to take a trip from her home in Arizona to Newport Beach, Calif., to visit Reinhardt for a girl's night.
"It was literally our 'aha' moment, on the sofa, having some adult chocolate milk: ‘Why don't we do this together?'" Reinhardt says.
The two thirtysomething moms--Reinhardt, a bubbly blonde with a background in sales and marketing, and Halbur, an equally bubbly brunette who formerly worked in supply chain management and manufacturing--dove headfirst into the venture.
Shaking Things Up
From the start, Reinhardt and Halbur's drink was a hit--before it was ever officially bottled. Through some of Reinhardt's connections, she and Halbur were invited to bring Adult Chocolate Milk to a breast cancer benefit party at a pre-Emmy luncheon at the home of Adrienne Maloof (of Bravo's Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame). The two got to work fast, incorporating in 48 hours, putting together a logo and printing business cards. They bought the ingredients they would need, mixed the drink in Maloof's kitchen, served it with little red straws and passed it out at their ACM booth.
"When you looked out that day, there was just a sea of red straws--everyone's talking about it, people are stopping by our booth saying, ‘You're the chocolate milk people!' It spread like wildfire," Halbur says. "We knew then that we were on to something."  story continues here

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