The Cult of Liquid Death

When Death Liquid was launched in 2017, some people thought that the brand was just a gimmick, targeting punk skateboarders and kids who were willing to pay a premium for expensive water with an emblazoned skull on it. However, others criticized the brand’s slogan and branding, as they believed it perpetuated toxic masculinity, recalling the worst fashion trend of the early ’00s. Nonetheless, the brand’s distinctive tall boy cans quickly gained popularity on the internet, appealing to almost everyone.

In the midst of a brutal hangover last week, I reached for a chilly pitcher of water from my Brita. I learned that it is surprisingly easy to chug an entire can of matter in seconds. It’s true, especially when the water flows out of the Brita, it tastes more refreshing than I expected, backed by science. Apparently, colder water can also make it feel colder, which is interesting. The water inside had a surprisingly mild minerality with a neutral taste. I was a little worried that water bottles like stainless-steel ones would impart a tinny flavor, but when I first tried it, damn, it was pretty good. Turns out, Death Liquid is a pretty accurate perception.

Cessario, who was a graphic designer working at advertising agencies and producing projects for big companies like Netflix, had a negative opinion about Liquid Death in the early commentary. Before launching Liquid Death, Cessario had created something special, according to Mike, the co-founder. He made teaser videos with mock-ups of the cans, which gained more than 3 million views, surpassing the number of bigger brands like Aquafina on the platform. Within a couple of months of its launch, the brand had gained more than 100,000 fans on Facebook, capturing the imagination of the internet.

Cessario states, “A significantly superior gauge for determining whether or not we possessed an idea that would genuinely be successful is observing the actual response of individuals in the market on social media.” Cessario explains, “However, I never believed that those were truly precise. They would conduct various forms of experimentation and targeted assemblies when I collaborated with these immense corporate labels.”

Collaboration between artist Will Carsola, bartender J.R. Riggins, and cook Pat Cessario resulted in the creation of Death Liquid – an alternative space where a lot of brands are considered “unhealthy.”

Liquid Death was chosen instead of “Southern Thunder,” which had a comically nerdy vibe. Many names were considered, but the team focused on naming the product like a craft beer. The edgy branding and the design of the can, which feels remarkably similar to holding a beer, showcase Liquid Death’s brilliance. In times of crisis, relief organizations frequently distribute this product, as it is easy to stack and has an extended shelf life. It is often purchased by doomsday preppers who value its usefulness. The idea of water being completely foreign is not a good one.

The same thing is that soda has always been around, but the same thing is that this is the Red Bull brand that they created and has been around forever.

Rather than packaging it in plastic bottles, the company managed to package the water that would later be known as Liquid Death in cans. Through a simple Google search, they discovered an Austrian provider who utilized mountain water sourced from a nearby spring to create energy drinks and other beverages. Despite lacking prior experience in introducing a new beverage to the market, the company embarked on the production of its canned water after finalizing a name.

The motto of the company, “death to plastic,” was especially important to partners Cessario and his. According to the company’s website, its aluminum cans are “infinitely recyclable.” The Liquid Death website states that plastic is no longer profitable to recycle because it is technically not recyclable anymore. Economists and environmentalists now say that simply throwing plastic in the trash, which requires less trucking to the landfill, is actually better for the planet. It’s a melancholy situation.

It’s shipped that way to California, indicating data that points to a smaller carbon footprint than wine produced in France, which is actually similar. “For a comparison, similar points also indicate that wine produced in France has a smaller carbon footprint than wine produced in California,” says he. “You would need something like 500 trucks to move the same amount of freight,” he adds. The most carbon-efficient form of transportation is shipping, as a giant ship can move an insane amount of cargo pound by pound. “It may seem counterintuitive, but Cessario says that shipping wine in water from its source in spring is somehow more sustainable than shipping it from the Death Liquid,” he explains.

More than 120 avid fans of Liquid Death have actually gotten the brand’s logo tattooed on their bodies. This made them feel acknowledged, as skate kids and punks finally had a brand that catered to them. In collaboration with Tony Hawk, the brand sold skateboard decks printed with the actual blood of the legendary skater to raise money for charity. To create a full-length punk album, inspired by comments from Liquid Death “haters,” tracks were titled “Liquid Lame-O” and “Rather Murder Myself,” and the company collaborated with members of bands like Alkaline Trio, Anti-Flag, and Rise Against. Liquid Death became the official water of major music festivals like Governors Ball and Austin City Limits, thanks to its partnership with concert promoter Live Nation in 2020. Liquor stores, tattoo parlors, and bars were its first distributors. When the water officially launched in 2019, it immediately found a dedicated audience ranging from skateboarders to artists and straight-edge hardcore kids who preferred to party without alcohol.

Cessario states, “And grab it, believe it’s fantastic, and observe the container, some individuals won’t require much persuasion to trust our expertise. Within this impressive, music-inspired label, you’re granting individuals who are not involved in that lifestyle, such as a suburban mother for instance, authorization to engage once the primary viewership is established.”

Sam’s Club, together with 7-Eleven in the United States and Canada, recently unveiled the beverage. The beverage is also available at Sprouts Farmers Market. The company extended its presence to additional retail locations and introduced a fizzy water with a carbonation level designed to emulate that of beer shortly after achieving the status of the fastest-selling water brand on its shelves. Liquid Death made its debut in Whole Foods stores nationwide, priced at $14.99 for a pack of twelve, just prior to the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Soccer moms are the main consumers of this product because Liquid Death is visually appealing and invigorating.

Since its inception, income has increased by an average of 300 percent annually, however, Cessario was not inclined to disclose any precise details regarding sales or the quantity of Liquid Death cases being shipped each month. The company had garnered over $34 million in funding as of the previous year, with support from prominent investors such as California VC firm Science, Blake Mycoskie, co-founder of Toms shoes, and Sophia Amoruso, the original #Girlboss.

Companies are facing challenges in maintaining stock levels, as they aim to capture a portion of the market share from their competitor. They claim to have an excess of inventory, which they have accumulated over the past few months. This indicates that they have successfully dealt with supply chain problems faced by other bottled water producers. According to Cessario, Liquid Death is confident that it is only at the beginning stages of its growth.

Retailers can expect to see a broader range of products from Death Liquid, and the company is still kicking ideas around. While fans can always expect Death Liquid to stay true to its roots, it is important for the company to stick to its ethos of “health about all,” says Cessario. “We’re not going to make a drink that is sugar-filled like some energy drinks, because that is not what our audience likes.”

“What the heck.” Is what people often say to express their amazement at the almost miraculous ability of this brand to inspire success in various ways. When you’re out drinking and feeling curious, it can be quite annoying when strangers feel compelled to ask you about it, but somehow it manages to grab your attention and hold it tight. There’s something undeniably satisfying about the distinct appeal of Death Liquid; it tastes good and there’s no denying that it creates a lot of converts. So, don’t be surprised if canned water becomes even more ubiquitous as Death Liquid continues to make its mark.

According to Cessario, “carrying a Liquid Death while walking in a bar and accidentally meeting a stranger will definitely initiate a conversation.” “This is because there is no other type of water that can achieve the same effect.”