This page is intended to give you a guide as you start your new Brand. We try to make this process very simple and quick for you, so you can get things going quickly.
New Spirit Brands: Well you just signed up with Citrus Distillers, what when how and where do we go from here? The first step in our process is to create the formulation of the “juice”, this will provide us guidance and a baseline for our next steps. This process typically takes 2-4 weeks.
What does the formulation process involve? We work with you to design your new Brand around a great tasting product. To give you an example, let’s say we’re creating a Vodka. The first question is what will it be made from, most common brands on the market use Corn, Sugar Cane, Potato or Wheat. But what would you like yours made of ? Once we know the answer we can start ordering and start fermenting (typically 7-10 days to ferment). Next is the distillation and filtering, this can take 2-3 days to complete. TTB Formula Approval typically takes about 10-15 days.
Once we have an approved Formula, we can file this with the TTB (Government) for Formula Approval. The next step is to design the label, so we can submit to the TTB and State Agencies – this also requires approvals. Typically about 15-20 days for label approval or COLA (Certificate of Label Approval). So what do we do while we’re waiting on all these approvals? We recommend Bottle Design Finalizations and Distributor Marketing to prepare for once we have the label approved, so you can go out and get a Distributor.
Speaking of the TTB and Distributors, the USA is a 3 tier system, where Spirits are taxed typically 3 times. Citrus Distillers is a manufacturer, we pay the Federal Excise Tax on every bottle we produce. The tax rate is $13.50 per proof gallon, or for a 80 Proof Spirit in a 750 ml bottle, the tax would be $2.14. Once the bottles are shipped to a Distributor, the 2nd tier comes into effect, a distributor pays the State Excise Tax, in Florida this fee is $1.30 per 750 ml bottle at 80 Proof. The 3 tier is at a restaurant or liquor store, where the Spirits are hit with Sales Tax. That covers all 3 tiers and as you can see the government does very well with Liquor Excise Taxes.
If you don’t have Graphic Design skills, or would rather have an outside Developer design the concept of your new Brand, we highly recommend 99designs.com and Fiverr.com. They’re both great at linking you up with a Designer and creating amazing products. Once you have your design completed, send in jpg format a copy of the front and back label, and we can add all the legal information to the file, so we can submit to the TTB for Approval.
Bottles, Painting and Labels are one of the biggest decisions you have to make for your Brand. Some believe that image is everything, so its important to get your look right the first time – although you can always change it if you have to. Below is everyone you need to get the Bottle Design completed.
Bottle, Cork and Cap Manufacturers
All American Container – http://allamericancontainers.com/ Our contact is Lissa (Tampa office) (813) 248-2023
Waterloo Containers – http://waterloocontainer.com/
Bruni – http://www.bruniglass.com/
http://www.paulsonsupply.com/ Our Contact is Dave 209-545-6994
Sleeve & Capsules for Tamper Evident Seals
CE Capsules – http://www.cecapsules.com/
Maverick Packaging – http://maverickcaps.com/index.html
Labels & Bottle Painting
Intouch Labels – http://www.intouchlabels.com/ Our contact is Lou
Loggerhead Deco (Painting) http://loggerheaddeco.com/index.html / Our contact is Steve
Wright Global Graphics – http://www.wrightglobalgraphics.com/
Timeframe to order these items:
Labels typically take about 3- 4 weeks to complete
Painted Bottles take about 4 weeks to complete
Bottle Delivery takes about 10 days
Once we have all Approvals and the Sample Bottles completed, its time to get out there and start marketing. We recommend you take your 12 Sample Bottles and start setting up appoinments with Distributors. If you don’t know any distributors, we’ll be happy to provide you a complete list of every Distributor in your area including any contact info we have. Remember the more bottles you sell, the more bottles we sell and that makes us both successful.