Iconic rugby trio enter into the premium RTD market with the launch of Grins via MetroEXP

Iconic rugby trio enter into the premium RTD market with the launch of Grins via MetroEXP

Inspired by hot summer days and banter by the BBQ, premium RTD brand Grins has been brought to life by MetroEXP.


Created by the legendary Stephen Donald (former All Black) and current All Black players, Damian Mckenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown, Grins stands for all things good, and grin-worthy – inspired by Damian’s cheeky trademark grin before he takes a kick.

With the global RTD market projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.1% between 2020 – 2025*, Grins is expected to be a solid contender alongside competition in the Premium RTD market.

Featuring a custom beaver illustration, which embodies the three founders, and bright pastel colours, Director of MetroEXP, Tammy Milani says the team have loved bringing this premium RTD brand to life: “It was amazing working with the boys to bring to life their vision for a fun and playful brand like Grins. We wanted to make sure the brand had the personality to reflect the boys and their intention behind the new RTD to help it stand out in this ever-growing category. Plus it doesn’t hurt that is a delicious summer drink – definitely looking forward to a few Grins with Grins this summer.”

The brand work by MetroEXP heroes Grins first two flavours; Grins Vodka Mango, Pineapple & Soda and Grins Vodka Lemon, Lime & Soda. While the cheeky beaver character and bright pastel hues of yellow, orange and green highlight the clever and cheeky ethos behind New Zealand’s newest summer beverage.

Iconic rugby trio enter into the premium RTD market with the launch of Grins via MetroEXP

Says Stephen Donald (aka the beaver): “Like most great ideas, Grins was born from a conversation around the BBQ with Damian and Anton late one night. We’ve always planned to launch a seltzer that was low in sugar, carbs and gluten-free but hadn’t quite nailed the name until it was right in front of us – Damian and his iconic grin.

“Working with this idea, and iconic kiwi flavours, we approached Tammy and the team at MetroEXP to help us with the branding and launch.

“The look and feel of Grins is absolutely on point, and we’re excited to get the brand out there with the MetroEXP team this summer.”

Says Beatrice Bearne, senior account manager: “Creating the Grins brand has been such a fun and collaborative experience with the guys, and the end product reflects who they are and what Grins is all about.

“There’s been an amazing response to the product already, with Kiwis enthusiastic about getting their hands on some Grins this summer!”

Grins has launched in selected liquor stores across the country just in time for summer. Keep an eye on @Grinsnz or grinsdrinks.co.nz for updates.

Founders of Grins/Client: Stephen Donald, Damian McKenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown
Managing Partner: Tammy Milani
Senior Account Manager: Beatrice Bearne
Senior Art Director: James Showler
Creative Director / Copywriter: Susan Young
Illustration and Design: Paolo Alinea