DES MOINES, Iowa and NEW YORK, July 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Allrecipes, part of Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP), www.meredith.com, and America's #1 food site reaching 39 million consumers every month, today announced the launch of a partnership with Tito's Handmade Vodka to bring an artificial intelligence-powered virtual bartender to spirits enthusiasts worldwide. Through this partnership, users will have access to curated drink recommendations and recipes from Allrecipes as well as from Tito's, America's original craft vodka, and the ability to click-to-purchase Tito's from Drizly for delivery.
The bartender chatbot, called "Barkeep," converses with users about cocktails and mixology in real time, helping spirits enthusiasts make hand-crafted cocktails with ease. Users interact with the Barkeep chatbot directly within Facebook Messenger, and Barkeep offers trending, seasonally relevant cocktails and recommendations tailored to each user's preferences. Powered by the Meredith Shopper Marketing API, the chatbot can guide users through a wide range of topics, from how to mix a Moscow mule to what drinks can be created with the ingredients users have on hand.
The chatbot also facilitates ecommerce. Users may click to purchase Tito's through Drizly for on-demand delivery. Recent studies show that online alcohol sales surpassed $1.7Bn in 2017, and may grow to $7Bn-$15Bn annually nationwide over the next few years.
"We're committed to using technology to make it easier and faster for cocktail enthusiasts to find recipe inspiration and execute their ideas. Barkeep is a fun, interactive way to make mixology and bartending more accessible," said Corbin de Rubertis, VP of Innovation for Meredith Corp. "We're equally committed to helping our forward-thinking brand partners like Tito's engage shoppers where they are and capture the growing consumer interest in ecommerce purchase and delivery of spirits."
Tito's Handmade Vodka will be the featured vodka in the user flow when vodka cocktail recipes are being discussed within the chatbot. In addition, as part of a wider campaign across Meredith properties, Tito's will be the featured vodka within relevant cocktail recipes on sites such as Allrecipes.com, and Tito's will show within native shopper marketing units that suggest Tito's Handmade Vodka as a pairing to popular summer and holiday entertaining recipes. Tito's will also appear within Allrecipes Mixer Cards, rich media ads that let users customize recipes to fit the ingredients they have on hand. In all cases, shoppers can click to add Tito's products to their cart for on-demand delivery.
"As a brand, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to connect with our fans and to make enjoying a Tito's cocktail as simple as it should be," said Nicole Portwood, VP Brand Marketing, Tito's Handmade Vodka. "The virtual bartender allows us to help our fans make hand-crafted cocktails in real time and gives us the ability to deliver on demand, bringing the bar one step closer to you."
Tito's Handmade Vodka and media agency KSM South teamed up to explore ways to integrate alcohol ecommerce into Allrecipes' shopper marketing solutions, ultimately deciding to feature Tito's as a Barkeep launch partner.
"Our agency is always seeking unique and innovative ways to connect people with our brand partners, so we're very excited for this launch. This chatbot experience will let fans of Tito's interact with the brand in a fun way, while highlighting the convenience of the ability to purchase Tito's for delivery," said Caleb Pinkerton, Digital Director at KSM South, which handles Tito's Handmade Vodka's media strategy. "From a marketing perspective, we're eager to see how audiences interact with the chatbot and analyze the actions they take afterward."
Allrecipes users are 20% more likely than the average U.S. adult to be frequent entertainers, and are also more likely to have prepared a mixed drink in the past week, according to comScore Fusion, and 21% more likely than the general U.S. population to have consumed Tito's Handmade Vodka in the last six months, making this experience a particularly good fit for the Allrecipes audience.
Searches on Allrecipes for cocktails including vodka spike in summer, as party planners seek refreshing cocktails for gatherings and parties. Over the summer, according to Allrecipes data, cocktails like Long Island Iced Tea, Vodka Lemonade, White Peach Sangria, Bikini Martinis and Baybreezes are among the most popular.
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About Tito's Handmade Vodka:
Tito's Handmade Vodka is America's Original Craft Vodka. In 1997, Bert "Tito" Beveridge, now a 50-something geophysicist, obtained the first legal permit to distill in Texas and created Tito's Handmade Vodka. Tito's distills its corn-based vodka using old-fashioned pot stills and the vodka is naturally Gluten-Free. Tito's Handmade Vodka is distilled and bottled by Fifth Generation Inc. in Austin, Texas, and is available in Liter, 1.75L, 750ml, 375ml, 200ml and 50ml sizes. For more information, visit www.titosvodka.com
SOURCE Meredith Corporation