Atom Group launches Atom Labs to ramp up focus on spirits NPD

Atom Group, which incorporates Atom Brands, Maverick Drinks and Master of Malt, has added a new innovation arm to its portfolio.

Atom Labs was created as part of a mission to create "a range of unique spirits". Each project will be created by a small team of dedicated spirits minds and these will then be seeded through online retailer Master of Malt initially in small batches in order to gauge interest, viability and positioning.

This agile business model is designed to allow for rapid escalation of production of the products that prove popular with consumers through this method of seeding, according to the company.

Rosie Milsom, Head of NPD at Atom Labs said: “We adopted a ‘Skunkworks’ model, this allows us to focus on the minimum viable product for launch, and then we iterate, iterate, iterate! Making small changes, quickly in a very agile way to constantly improve the product and customer experience. The thing I find the most exciting is the speed at which we can move. A product is generally ideated and up for sale within a six-week period.

”By analysing customer data through Master of Malt, Atom Labs is in the unique position to adapt their product direction to meet the customer demand. They can then also identify gaps in the market to create products that they believe customers will demand in the future and do so quicker than their competitors.”

Having launched Atom Labs in spring this year, several products are already in the testing stage and available through Master of Malt. The standout product so far is Jaffa Cake Gin, which launched in April, outperforming all other orange flavoured gins combined on Master of Malt by more than 654% in period to date since launch.

Following Jaffa Cake Gin’s debut, Atom Labs has also seen success with a wide range of products including Seaweed & Aeons & Digging & Fire (an undisclosed 10-Year-Old Islay Whisky), Central Galactic Rum (a spiced rum inspired by research into the centre of the Milky Way), Burnt Ends (a whisky designed to complement the flavours of American BBQ) and Jaffa Cake Rum (a line extension of Jaffa Cake Gin).

Over the last eight months, Atom Labs has rapidly produced a range of new and exciting products, with latest additions Black & Gold 11-Year-Old Bourbon and Project #173 (a range of naturally flavoured rums) already showing early signs of success.

Laura Carl, Marketing Product Owner, Atom Labs, said: “The whole concept behind seeding on Master of Malt is so we can really listen to the people purchasing. Our goal is to locate gaps in the market and produce high quality, unique and intriguing spirits. We want to be the leaders of the newest trend, not following the curve, but creating it ourselves. I’m confident the success we’ve seen in 2020 will be replicated, if not surpassed, in 2021.

“We have a huge backlog of exciting spirits (and potential line extensions!) to come from the amazing imagination of our super talented NPD team.

”With the infinite possibilities available in the spirits category, Atom Labs will continue to focus on flavour and creating spirits that the world wants to drink. All products will be available to purchase from ​Master of Malt​, with select products also being distributed in the UK by Maverick Drinks.”

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