Drink pouch startup looks to energize business with new product

Pocket Shot wants to start selling energy drinks. Photo by Amy DiPierro.

Pocket Shot wants to start selling energy drinks. Photo by Amy DiPierro.

A local entrepreneur that sells liquor in pocket-sized plastic pouches says an energy drink shot will be the next thing sold in the same package.

Jarrold Bachmann, 68, founded Evergreen-based Pocket Shot a decade ago for outdoorsmen and travelers that want to have a nip or two on the go but don’t want to find shards of glass in their backpacks.

Now, Bachman said, an energy drinkmaker has licensed the Pocket Shot brand so that customers can pack their pockets with something that invigorates rather than inebriates.

“Being in the pouch is what Pocket Shot is known for,” he said. “And energy drinks are all in little 2-ounce bottles – that’s why this will be a kind of new generation.”

Bachman said Pocket Shot licensed its brand because it doesn’t “necessarily want to be in the energy drink business.” Instead, it will leave the formula of the drink to someone else and will receive royalties on products sold. (Bachman did not disclose the name of the company that has licensed Pocket Shot.)

According to the market research firm IBISWorld, energy drinks are an $8 billion market, averaging about 14 percent annual growth in the past five years.

Bachman, a serial entrepreneur and avid big-game hunter, has owned coal-mining businesses, a company that sells coconut fiber doormats and, most recently, a banana farm in South Africa.

It was the farm that inspired Pocket Shot. After Bachmann saw workers buying cheap cellophane satchels filled with alcohol at kiosks, he decided to design a similar product that he could use on hunting trips.

Today, Pocket Shot sells 11 flavors of bourbon whiskey, rum, vodka, brandy and tequila for between $1.50 and $2.20 a pop, depending on the retailer.

But at its core, Bachmann said, Pocket Shot is a packaging company. Bachmann designed the three-layer, 50-ml plastic pouch, but leaves production and distribution to third parties.

“You take a pouch: much easier to carry, much easier to get rid of once you consume it,” he said. “Whereas a little bottle is still a little bottle wherever it goes, empty or full.”

He said Pocket Shot can be frozen without bursting and left out in the sun without melting.

After a contract manufacturer makes the pouches, Bachmann sends them to Frank-Lin Distillers in California, which fills them with spirits. Frank-Lin then sells the pouches to distributors in 27 states as well as Canada and parts of Europe, the Caribbean and Central America, Bachmann said.

Liquor stores usually stock Pocket Shot behind the checkout counter.

“Pocket Shot is kind of an add-on,” Bachmann said. “(People) might go to a tailgate and buy a couple cases of beer, but they might want a Pocket Shot to go into the game.”

Bachmann said the company has faced little competition in the United States since alcoholic beverage companies don’t want to take away from their own mini-bottle liquor business. But, he added, laws and taxes often limit where Pocket Shot can expand without pushing its price past what the market will hold.

Pocket Shot is topping off a capital raise of $100,000, a filing with the SEC on March 8 shows. It has $80,000 so far and reported less than $1 million in annual revenue.

Pocket Shot wants to start selling energy drinks. Photo by Amy DiPierro.

Pocket Shot wants to start selling energy drinks. Photo by Amy DiPierro.

A local entrepreneur that sells liquor in pocket-sized plastic pouches says an energy drink shot will be the next thing sold in the same package.

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