A nostalgically fresh spirit made for friends, by friends

In the world of wine and spirits, there are no shortage of options. However, finding something innovative, authentic, and delicious is a rarity but as proven by Sunshine Punch, not an impossibility. This award-winning, alcoholic beverage is an orange dreamsicle in liquid form and checks all the boxes! Built upon the foundation of friendship and fun times, the Sunshine Punch brand is as memorable as the experiences it creates.

Brian Thomason and Matt Hemmings are the co-founders of Sunshine Punch and have known one another for almost three decades, sharing countless stories of time spent sitting around a campfire on the beach, picking guitars throughout the night.  Along with leaders like Jonathan Swope, the brand’s Chief Marketing Officer, the group is building a top shelf organization that is as exciting as the product itself.  Speaking of the product, it’s truly an extension of that camaraderie and the idea that Sunshine Punch invites consumers to reflect fondly on the past while creating meaningful moments in the present.

“Sunshine Punch was a beverage that began as a homemade creation by our partner. Over the years, we began to recognize the attraction and versatility of the product and just how entangled it was in our lifestyle,” said Hemmings. “We just got to a point where it felt right to commercialize it and we’ve been lockstepped together on the creation of the brand, the formulation of the product, the strategy of bringing Sunshine Punch to market ever since.”

At the onset of the production process, the Sunshine Punch team imagined it wouldn’t be that difficult to transition from making small batches to mass production. In reality, it turned out to be a much greater challenge. This realization led them to hire one of the best formulation beverage companies in the country. It was a learning process, but an enjoyable one.

The team gained invaluable insight into the science of flavor combinations and the way in which it is received by the palate. Spending two or three days at a time, Brian and Matt would taste up to 70 iterations of Sunshine Punch. They became experts at talking about the various components of the spirit and tasting terminologies. In the end, partnering with a reputable beverage research and development team was worth it to ensure the aesthetics and taste of the final product would meet the elevated Sunshine Punch standards.

You don’t have to learn to like it — you’ll instantly love it!

In observing the brand’s ever-evolving demographic, Sunshine Punch took note of how the “rite of passage” for this generation differs from those of us born in prior decades. Nowadays, it’s all about finding a spirit that’s lower proof, tastes good, and delivers feel good vibes. 

“All of our first drinks were something that tasted awful and we were told things like, it will grow on you,” said Thomason. “College students and young adults today aren’t interested in learning to like something. They want something that’s delicious now — and that’s Sunshine Punch.”

Consumers also appreciate the convenience factor, as proven by the continued impact RTD beverages have on the dynamic of the alcohol industry. Although Sunshine Punch is not looking to take over that niche market, the product does strategically share the same underlying metrics that are driving the ready to drink craze.

The initial mindset for the brand involved simply enjoying Sunshine Punch straight over ice. Although that is how the team recommends people first try it, they are coming to find that Sunshine Punch is a bartender’s best friend. And that’s because quite frankly, there is nothing else like it behind the bar. The completely unique flavor profile is consistently complementary and extremely versatile. From spicy margaritas to cold brew coffee, the consumers unanimously agree that Sunshine Punch pairs well with almost any beverage. Receiving positive feedback and hearing all the innovative ways their originally homemade spirit is being put to use by the masses has been extremely fulfilling for Brian, Matt and Jonathan.

And we are constantly hearing about innovative ways people have found to use Sunshine Punch.  Surprised by inbound traffic and watching how this product has grown and become bigger than we could have imagined. As the Sunshine Punch movement continues to gain traction, they’ve embraced the term nostalgically fresh, which is not a clever marketing tactic but rather a direct result of reviews from those who have tried it. There’s something unique about Sunshine Punch that brings people back to their childhood but in a way that feels innovative and forward-thinking.

Packing an authentic punch of personality.

The inception of Sunshine Punch was a very genuine process. It’s a product inspired by friendship and valuing experiences over things. Designed to be sessionable, Sunshine Punch exists to be shared among good people sharing in good times. And as the brand continues to grow, maintaining that sense of authenticity and community is a priority.

“We are passionate about staying true to who we are and building a company with intention focused on culture,” said Swope. “We want to have influence in the industry. But it’s not a popularity contest. It comes down to thinking differently about tired spaces while serving the masses.”

As the brand continues to expand, they see the value in localizing at a national level. Because the players in this space are so big, the Sunshine Punch team needs to think of fresh, alternative ways to show up, gain awareness and keep people’s attention. This involves giveaways, collaborating with influencers, branded murals, pop up installations, sponsorships, event appearances and more. 

You’ll want to keep an eye out as Sunshine Punch prepares for its nationwide expansion — the beloved orange dreamsicle spirit will be in 41 states by the end of April 2024. There are also talks of partnering with some big name rum brands on a campaign to promote forward-thinking shooters and cocktails.

Not to mention, there will be some exciting newcomers in the liquor space under Sunshine Punch’s larger entity of BAR Brands. And you can be certain that each product will be masterfully designed, extremely delicious and disruptive in its own right.

“As a foundation for a much larger vision, I am blown away by the strength of the brand and how quickly it’s turning heads and paving the way for some bigger concepts to come,” said Hemmings. “I can remember the first time we enjoyed our homemade version of Sunshine Punch and to be able to see how it’s transformed into an idea that became a widely accepted and loved product is extremely humbling,” added Thomason.

From coastlines to skylines to backyards everywhere, Sunshine Punch embodies a lifestyle of laid back beach vibes in every type of setting. This fun, inclusive and social spirit is yours for the tasting. So, whether you’re already a fan of Sunshine Punch or are hearing about it for the first time, grab a bottle to share among family and friends and just ask yourself — what’s the best that could happen?

To learn more about the brand and to purchase the product, visit https://sunshinepunch.me/

Sunshine Punch is the recipient of the DOUBLE GOLD Masked Double Blind Tasting and the 100 point/CENTURY Unmasked Total Package Design Distinction at the renowned PR%F Awards.