How We REALLY Feel About The Real Housewives Beverage Ventures
by Jessica Deseo on 09/17/2019 | 4 Minute Read
Love them or hate them, the Real Housewives are a pop-culture staple.
We get to follow a group of women in a metropolitan city and see how they live, how their everyday struggles compare to our own lives, just with, you know, cameras and scripted, high-stakes drama. But if you follow the franchise as much as I have, you’ll know that some women have gone to jail, filed for bankruptcy, gotten divorced and, in the end, the housewives are real people just like us. Right?
However, those real-ass housewives have evolved and capitalized on their fame, with many going on to become entrepreneurs in their own right by taking products to the market from hair and eyelash extensions to a dog care line. No shade on the hustle either, as some of the ladies have done an excellent job bringing their financial endeavors to life. Of course, one common theme throughout the history of the show is the near-constant celebration of adult beverages. Whether it’s rosé all day, or a finely-crafted cocktail, a majority of the ladies like to hit the bottle hard.
The next obvious step was to create their own beverage line, so we’ve rounded up the best and worst beverage for you. The one common denominator? Branding and packaging are essential to their success.
I’ll begin with the OG housewife, Vicki Gunvalson. It all started in Orange County with Vicki, and she isn’t afraid to let the world know she’s the foundational model of what we expect from our housewives.
Like Vicki’s relationship with Brooks, the packaging and branding is a hot mess. The hierarchy is everywhere and looks like a Basic™ bottle of vodka sold at the Dollar Tree. I can only imagine the vague brief given to the poor designer. “MAKE IT FANCY AND GLITTERY.”
Sadly, the vodka never hit stores, and everything ended like most of her relationships.
If you watch RHONY, you know the queen B, Bethenny Frankel. Like it or not, you’ve seen this woman hustle her ass on and off of the show by becoming a mogul in her own right. Skinnygirl’s branding has extended itself to not only low-calorie margaritas, but Intimates, jeans, and snacks. The branding is consistent, but it can also compete in the market, and it’s no wonder that it sold for $120 million in 2011.
Known for her over-the-top homes, attire, and restaurants, LVP (Lisa VanderPump) has dominated the LA scene with four eateries and a hit reality show that follows her employees. Who would have thought that following 20-something servers would be so captivating? Her alcohol venture plays with her housewife tagline, “Life isn't all diamonds and rosé, but it should be.”
The Vanderpump Rosé packaging isn’t all that horrid, but I’m not sure I get the double Vanderpump on the label. Still, it’s only $14.99 a bottle, and I can get down with that.
How can you not drink something called Positive Beverage? It took me a second to figure out what the hell it was. A cocktail in a can? Seltzer water? Nope, just a low-calorie sparkling water with a boost of vitamins from the OC’s Kelly Dodd, because that’s on-brand and important to the Housewife tribe. On Dodd’s Instagram, she encourages you to mix in a little vodka, because duh. The juxtaposition of beverages doesn't get past me. Thankfully, the branding and packaging aren't awful, but the price of a 12-pack is a whopping $27.99.
But don’t worry, Kelly says it’s “a beverage that is affordable to anyone.”
Ramona Singer, another RHONY, always advocates for a noteworthy pinot grigio. Coined with the straight to the point Ramona Pinot Grigio, the venture didn’t last long and is no longer available for purchase. With a basic label, the printing perhaps had a flashy embossing, but I’m not 100% sure, but that would have added a nice in-person texture when choosing a wine at the store. While we won’t see the wine IRL, she has now moved on to a new venture with a skincare line named Ageless by Ramona.
Real Housewives of Orange County, Heather Dubrow loves her CHAMPS, so she had to develop her own (though it helps if you’re Z-list famous, and married to a wealthy plastic surgeon) Apparently, Bello Family Vineyards asked Mrs. Dubrow to develop a bottle of brut, naming it “Collette” after her daughter.
Shocker, she even helped design the packaging! Which, you know, is a little obvious with its non-color scheme and forced “fancy-ness. It doesn’t exist anymore, but it was $43.99. RIP, ugly champagne, we hardly knew or popped you.
We can all admire a brand venture (they're hard!), especially if it can go on to become successful, even when they originate from the depths of Bravo's hate-TV department. Regardless, whether you’re a wealthy housewife or not, solid branding and packaging can make a product succeed. Can’t wait to see what new beverages these crazy women come up with next, and know that we will be here for it.
Packaging & Dielines 2: A Free Resource