Article / Opinion Five DTC (direct-to-consumer) beverage brands shaking things up

Boutique food and drink brands are thriving, taking on big corporates and delighting consumers with more choice than ever. Here are five DTC drinks brands quenching the thirst.


Fashion, Streetwear, Apparel, Retro

Ugly Drinks

Seltzer has spiked in popularity as people look for healthier options to soft drinks and alcohol. British company Ugly Drinks offer sugar and preservative-free drinks on subscription or via one-off purchase in the UK and US.

Ugly rail against single-use plastic bottles and even have straight up canned water options. The chunky, retro branding of Ugly demands to be instagrammed. A fridge full of Ugly would make any millennial happy.


OK, so Brew Dog is not a native-born DTC brand. The Scottish brewer took on the stale ale category in 2007 and has become the ubiquitous craft beer in UK supermarkets.

However there’s little doubt the future of Brew Dog is direct. Brew Dog first experimented with a “Fanzine” subscription beer club which was shelved in place of a fully-fledged shop. Drinkers can now even swap their empties for Brew Dog equity.

hunter © brewdog

Something & Nothing

Something & Nothing sell their seltzers across the UK and Europe. Unlike Ugly Drinks they don’t aim for zero calories but rather use a little grape juice for sweetness. Their site also suggests alcoholic cocktail pairings for each of their flavours.

Something & Nothing aligns itself with the creative industries and can be found in all the right places across London. As part of their mission to “refresh the planet” 1p from every can goes towards the Glimpse Foundation.

hunter © some

Voila Coffee

It’s been several decades since instant coffee became an instant hit. But not much has happened since. Voila Coffee aims to make the best instant coffee in the world with transparency from farm-to-cup.

Voila coffee can be bought by subscription in the US and majors on tasting notes and regions much like full bean coffee is marketed. The cigarette box packaging also adds new appeal to the instant coffee format.

hunter © voila 2

No Ugly

No Ugly is a Kiwi brand creating wellness tonics. Their drinks major on vitamins, antioxidants, protein and even collagen. At the heart of No Ugly drinks is an elixir called Enzogenol; a 100% natural extract from the bark of New Zealand Pinus Radiata pine trees.

No Ugly delivers lashings of attitude and their drinks arrive in a wooden ‘Swappa’ crate which allows drinkers to return the glass bottles directly to the company for reuse.

hunter © nougly

With a wealth of experience in all things FMCG & DTC, Hunter can help to start, scale or reboot your brand for the better. Find out how here.

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