Beverage Social Media Listening
Listening Dates: April 1st – June 30th
It’s a Budweiser Kind of Summer
Anheuser-Busch InBev has had their hands full this quarter with a plethora of new products. Following the release of Bud Light Lime, Budweiser recently released Bud Light Orange just in time for the summer months. Equal to its counterpart Lime, Orange offers 4.2% ABV and is brewed with real orange peels offering a clean and crisp, citrus flavor.
Another offering just in time for the summer months was Budweiser’s new Freedom Reserve Red Lager. According to this press release, Freedom Reserve Red Lager was inspired by George Washington’s hand-penned recipe dating back to 1757. This new release was launched in a vintage stubby bottle and in a one-pint can and is brewed with toasted barley grains giving the beer a slightly sweet aroma, a touch of hops, a rich caramel malt taste and finished with a hint of molasses.
Lastly, Budweiser teamed up with Beam Suntory (Jim Beam) to release Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager for this upcoming fall. However, as a means to market this future beverage, both companies started the “beer and bourbon shot” promotion which kicked off in April. As a limited edition beverage, this lager will be brewed using two-row barley and aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves. Whiskey and bourbon is on the rise with millennials and this product should certainly hit home with a nutty taste and notes of rye and vanilla.
While the beer industry has been full on innovation of late, Blue Moon Brewing Company is now taking creativity to new heights. CERIA Beverages, a new company formed within Blue Moon Brewing Company, plans on launching a line of cannabis-infused non-alcoholic craft beverages. The main difference between its’ competition, which use cannabidiol, is that CERIA has plans to use the psychoactive chemical found in the cannabis plant called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. CERIA has plans to launch three strengths: light, regular, and full-bodied ranging from 1 to 15 milligrams of the active ingredient. Though there have been discussions about how the THC-infused beers will be made, the flavors remain a mystery.
A Cornell professor by the name of Sam Alcaine recently discovered a sustainable method for brewing beer with the leftover acid whey from yogurt. While Alcaine is still perfecting the alcoholic beverage, his current creation yields a 2.7% ABV. Acid whey is rich in sugars which produce a salty and sour flavor comparable to Germain-style gose beer and traditional Mexican pulque. With the growing popularity of foraged and fruit-infused beers, dairy-based beers certainly offer a more diverse selection. The beer’s waste-saving aspect also provides another benefit sought by millennials.
Summer With a Splash of Smirnoff
Smirnoff kicked the summer off strong with two new products in their line-up. For July 4th, Smirnoff launched a limited special edition vodka: Red, White & Berry. This limited edition capitalized on cherry, citrus, and blue raspberry flavors which could be enjoyed as a shot or mixed for a summer cocktail.
And Smirnoff didn’t stop there. In addition to their new summer vodka, they also released Spiked Sparkling Seltzer Raspberry Rosé. This new beverage comes in a 12 oz. can with only 90 calories – zero sugars or artificial sweeteners. And as the label implies, the consumer will experience a bubbly blend of raspberry and rosé flavors to really complete their summer experiences.
Rosé All Day AND All Summer!
Rosé wines are made from a variety of grapes, can be found all around the globe, and are growing in popularity. So it’s no wonder that many major companies are tapping into this delicious beverage and offering products of their own. British-based beverage manufacturer Fever-Tree (which also has a US location as of early this year) just launched a pink tonic water flavored with sweet citrus fruits and exotic spices which is called Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic Water.
Want to toss some rosé flavored vodka into your rosé tonic to really amplify that flavor? Well, Three Olives has now made that possible by launching rosé flavored vodka. Three Olives uniquely mixes natural flavors into their vodka to give it a pink hue and rosé-like taste while some other brands actually mix in wine. The company recommends sipping it with soda water or mixed into a frosé. Three Olives has partnered up with actress and social media icon, Busy Philipps, and famous meme account, “Betches,” to further promote their new product through their combined base of 4.5 million followers.
In the same vein, NYC-based cocktail lounge, Skylark, is capitalizing on “rose your way” through rosé-flavored frozen cocktails called frosés. In addition, Skylark gives you the option of topping your frosé with a selection of seasonal fruits (like strawberries or blueberries), rosé gummies, or edible flowers. But that’s not all – patrons can also order a Frosécolada which consists of rosé blended up with the bars toasted coconut colada. And lastly, Skylark also offers Whispering Angel Rosé flavored ice-pops to really bring on pure nostalgia.
Turn Wine Into Water?
That’s right! Some vineyard and wine companies are reversing the normal process and turning wine back into water. Red wine comes with great health benefits, when consumed in moderation, and now consumers can enjoy Napa Hills Vineyard Enriched Water without the side effects of alcohol. Napa Hills released their water in two flavors: Cherry Rosé and Peach Grigio. Each flavor comes with the benefits of antioxidants found in red wine while containing no calories, sugar or alcohol. Both flavors contain purified, naturally flavored water along with fruit notes inspired by wine regions.
Trailing the release of Napa Hills, O.Vine has released their own version of wine-to-water beverages. However, O.Vine offers four products in this segment: two still, two sparkling, each available in red and white varieties. O.Vine seems to have a more sophisticated approach with their product possibly catering to a different demographic that may enjoy the tall, sleek, and frosted glass bottles.
Royal Wedding Influence
Elderflower is again gaining popularity thanks to it being one of the main flavors at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding. While this particular flavor, derived from the flowers of the elderberry bush, can be added to any food item, there is growing popularity in the beverage segment. Flavor is added by syrup or the cordial itself and can be added to cocktails or refreshing summer beverages.
Coffee, Always on the Grind
Or maybe it’s Starbucks always on the grind? Starbucks seems to have a new product or relaunch every season! In the coffee space, Starbucks launched a Cold Foam Cascara Cold Brew available in three options: Cold Foam Blonde Iced Cappuccino, Cold Foam Cascara Nitro Cold Brew, and regular Cold Foam Cascara Cold Brew. While this is somewhat of a relaunch for Starbucks with the Cold Foam aspect, the newly added component of Cascara makes it new and unique.
Cascara, which means “husk” in Spanish, is a term used to describe the skin of the coffee bean and is often described as having a sweet, fruity taste with notes of rose hip, hibiscus, cherry, red current mango and even tobacco.
Because of its sweet taste and notes, Cascara is usually shared between coffee and tea beverages. Beverage Company Peloton released a Cascara infused tea to the market available in Original, Peach Ginger, Apple Pomegranate, and Cranberry Lime. Due to its high concentration of polyphenols, antioxidants and other phyto-ingredients, Cascara is a true superfood.
Cold Brew coffees have been making some major leaps in the category as of late. Most recently, a small beverage company, crowd-funded by kickstarter, has launched a sparkling coffee. The company KEEPERS, however, stated they couldn’t take full credit for the “new” flavors as it is a popular to enjoy citrus infused coffee in Australia and Italy. KEEPERS is currently offering two flavors: Citrus Sparkling Coffee (uses light roasted coffee from a small batch paired with tangerine, lemon and lime juices, cane sugar, and sparkling coffee) and Black (sparkling black light coffee).
To keep competition on their toes and set the bar even higher, 7-Eleven partnered with Joseph Company International to launch a private label line of carbonated cold brew beverages called Fizzics Sparkling Cold Brew Coffee. The company wanted to introduce a unique beverage, carbonated coffee in this case, with their cutting-edge self-chilling can technology. While the company is still experimenting with this innovative technology, it currently is cooled by integrating coolant. Fizzics Cold Brew Coffees are available in regular, French vanilla, and caramel – all made with 100% Arabica Beans and natural flavors.
Phocus On This!
For those who don’t enjoy the taste of coffee, a company by the name of Phocus recently released a caffeinated sparkling water. Phocus is available in five flavors: Original, Grapefruit, Cucumber, Yuzu & Lime, and Blood Orange – all of which contain zero calories or sugar, and are sweetened with botanical flavors. While it’s marketed as a caffeinated beverage, each can is comparable to a cup of green tea (75 mg).
Last May, Coca-Cola debuted its first ever alcoholic drink in Japan called Lemon-Do. Any fizzy fruit-flavored drinks containing alcohol fit into a category called “alcopop” which is a popular category in Japan. Lemon-Do is available in 3%, 5%, and 7% alcohol content varieties and is said to be marketed as a beer alternative to Japan’s female millennials. There will only be two flavor varieties for this product, a salty-lemon version and one flavored with honey and lemon.
Following Lemon-Do just a month later in June, Coca-Cola launched another product for their line-up again in the Japanese market: Coca-Cola Clear, a zero-calorie sparkling drink which has a light lemon flavor. The company uses caramel ingredients for taste and their signature color in other colas, so Coca-Cola Clear took some time to perfect – in fact, 50 beverage samples were tested before they arrived at the final product.
Coca-Cola also introduced a new look to the already existing flavored sparkling soda beverage, Fresca. Marketed directly to millennials, Fresca believes millennials are unaware of their “distinct, grapefruit-forward taste,” and hopes to bring awareness with a new artisanal look. The brand is unveiling revamped packaging for its three flavors: Original Citrus, Black Cherry Citrus, and Peach Citrus.
Perrier Gets Real
Nestle Waters’ Perrier launched a new line for the Canadian market in June: Perrier & Juice. Their new bubbly beverage line-up is made with real fruit juice that is available in three flavors: Strawberry & Kiwi, Peach & Cherry, and Pineapple & Mango. Each beverage is comprised of their Perrier carbonated water, fruit juice from concentrate, natural sugar syrup and natural flavor.
Red Bull Gives You Soda
Red Bull is taking a unique approach with their recent new product launches. They are officially diving into the soda line with four new products called ORGANICS by Red Bull: Simply Cola (flavors of kola nut, ginger and cinnamon with 32 mg of caffeine); Bitter Lemon (flavored with citrus extracts and lemon juice concentrate and free of caffeine); Ginger Ale (flavored with ginger extracts and lemon juice concentrate and free of caffeine); and Tonic Water (flavored with lemon, lime and herbal plant extracts and free of caffeine).
Flavored Water Refills
PepsiCo launched a new Aquafina Water Station in April which was heavily influenced by consumers drinking more water and the increased use of refillable bottles. They tested some of their stations at Penn State University where students and faculty members can try the zero-calorie Aquafina brands with added peach, strawberry, lime or raspberry flavorings.