Low- and no-alcohol beverages have been on the rise for the last few years. Hard seltzer also referred to as beer seltzer has led the charge. According to IRI, Beer Seltzer centric sales totaled $4.4 billion, a 2.3% increase while Flavored Malt Beverages (FMB) reached $3.2 billion, up 5.2%, for the 52 weeks ending May 15, 2022. The latest activity is coming from Ready-To-Drink (RTD) cocktails, which are taking shares from hard seltzers. Premixed cocktail sales were up 32.3%, totaling $917.7 million, according to IRI for the 52 weeks ending May 15, 2022. In 2021, premixed cocktails saw 42% year-over-year revenue growth and reached $1.6 billion, making it the fastest-growing spirits segment last year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council. Canned cocktails’ reputations are getting an upgrade as brands replace malt bases with quality spirits and sophisticated ingredients that better represent classic cocktails. Alcohol innovation is coming from RTD canned cocktails, upcycled ingredients, and collaborations.
Vacation in a Can
Tropical cocktails give off vacation vibes and brands are creating tropical canned alcoholic beverages. Coconut water and rum are popular ingredients. Sunboy launched the Sunboy Spiked Sparkling Coconut Water collection in three flavors: Passion Fruit, Pineapple, and Tangerine. A Mango flavor is in the pipeline. The RTD cocktails have an ABV of 5% and are formulated with coconut water and real fruit juice, and do not contain added sugar or artificial flavorings. Similarly, Diageo and The Vita Coco Company partnered on the Vita Coco Spiked with Captain Morgan line of premium canned cocktails, expected in 2023. Using Captain Morgan rum and Vita Coco coconut water, the brand offers three flavors: Lime Mojito, Piña Colada, and Strawberry Daiquiri. Koloa Rum Co. released Sparkling Hawaiian Rum Cocktails blended with premium Kauai White Rum, which is made from pure cane sugar and rainwater from Mount Waialeale. The canned cocktails are available in four Hawaiian-inspired flavors: Coconut, Guava, Mango, and Pineapple. Svedka Vodka added Svedka Tropics Tea Spritz, a spirits-based hard seltzer, to its collection in Orange Mango, Pineapple Guava, and Raspberry Kiwi varieties. And for those that want a classic rum cocktail, Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola have officially released the RTD Jack & Coke in Full Sugar and Zero Sugar variants.
No Passports Required
Margaritas and Mojitos are popular cocktails and now they are conveniently packaged in a can. There’s no need to travel to Mexico, Cuba, or even a bar. According to a survey by The List, 32.46% of 573 respondents believe margaritas are this summer’s go-to drink. In the UK, Mojitos are a favorite cocktail for individuals 18 to 24 years old and 45 to 54 years old, according to a 1,000 people survey by Drinks House 247. Dos Equis joined the spirit category with its RTD Margarita Classic Lime beverage made with Blanco Tequila and an ABV of 10%. Flying Embers have added Canned Cocktails to its portfolio in two collections: Sparkling Margarita and Sparkling Mojito. The Sparkling Margarita Variety Pack includes Blood Orange Pomegranate, Classic Lime, and Strawberry Guava crafted with real lime juice and agave nectar while the Sparkling Mojito Variety Pack includes Lime, Mango, and Watermelon brewed with real lime juice and mint. Tequila Cazadores introduced Ranch Water inspired by the Texas drink. The Ranch Water contains Tequila Cazadores Blanco, sparkling mineral water, and fresh lime juice with a 5.9% ABV. Melograno Cocktails entered the canned cocktail market with agave wine-based cocktails made with “flavors that celebrate cultures from around the world.” The brand offers Cucumber Lime Mojito, Melon Margarita, Orange Blossom Martini, and Pomegranate Cosmopolitan. The cans highlight sophisticated patterns inspired by fabric and tiles.
Byproducts created from food waste have been trending and new alcohol products are launching. Beer and spirits are using upcycled ingredients such as bread, strawberries, and green crabs to launch new beverages. Toast Ale, a UK brewery known for using surplus bread in their brews, has created the Companion Series. A coalition of 25 breweries from the UK and Ireland used the surplus bread to brew a new limited edition beer for the collection. For example, Toast Ale x Cafedirect “For People” is a Coffee Porter brewed with surplus bread and Brazilian coffee beans. Sorted Food x Sloemotion Distillery partnered to create the Summer Special Strawberry Gin Liqueur with Vanilla and Black Pepper. Sloemotion used its Hedgerow Gin and a surplus of strawberries with six botanicals foraged from hedgerows on their farm to create this liqueur. New Hampshire’s Tamworth Distilling collaborated with the University of New Hampshire on the Crab Trapper, a green crab-flavored whiskey. The Green crabs are a problem to coastal ecosystems and this partnership has found a solution. The Crab Trapper whiskey starts with a modified sour mash bourbon base, aged for nearly four years. Then thousands of green crabs harvested from Seabrook, New Hampshire, are cooked down to a crab stock, fortified with neutral grain spirits, and distilled into “the ideal crab essence.” This essence is blended with the bourbon base and “steeped with a custom spice blend mixture consisting of paprika, bay, mustard seed, coriander seed, dill seed, cinnamon, clove, and allspice – reminiscent of a low-country boil.” The bottled 51% ABV whiskey is self-described as a “briny and better Fireball.”
Like other categories, alcohol brands are collaborating with food, wine, and beauty brands for limited edition collections. For the summer, Baked by Melissa x Wölffer Estate collaborated on the limited edition Rosé flavored cupcake with the light and refreshing flavor of Wölffer Estate’s Summer in a Bottle Rosé. Mateus Rosé and Paintbox have teamed up to create a nail polish collection. The Mateus x Paintbox Power Couple Pack unisex nail polish duo features Like Babe (pink) and Like Velvet (grey) to represent the Mateus bottle. Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Ellis Brooklyn have dropped an Italian Spritz Fragrance collection inspired by cocktails. Each kit Includes six Ellis Brooklyn fragrances, each paired with a Peroni-inspired spritz cocktail, and an Italian locale. The lineup includes BEE + Tuscan Golden Hour, SALT + Sicilian Sea Breeze, SUPER AMBER + An Evening In Roma, SUN FRUIT + Peroni Italian Sunshine, SWEET + Peroni Bella Vita, and WEST + Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Native debuted the Paradise Found collection, which highlights cocktail-inspired scents. The Citrus Spritz has tangelo, pear, and peony notes while Ginger Mule is a blend of ginger, bergamot, and lime. The Piña Colada is a tropical mix of pineapple and coconut while Rosé features a summery blend of strawberries, grapefruit, and soft florals. The products are available in body wash and deodorants.
Who doesn’t love a good cocktail? Watch as existing brands and new entrants develop sophisticated RTD canned cocktails, sustainable beverages using upcycled ingredients, and limited edition collaborations.
Ready for a summer soiree? Let Trendincite LLC custom-design a spirited trend excursion, an effervescent marketing presentation, a classy blog post, or hire Amy Marks-McGee as a flavorful guest speaker.