Beverages Social Media Listening
Listening Dates: October 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019
No Need to Completely “Dry Out” this January
Low- and no-alcohol offerings are becoming increasingly prevalent as more consumers opt to lose the booze during social gatherings. Dalston’s Soda is joining this movement by offering two alcohol-free gin & tonic ready-to-drink beverages. The Classic G&T boasts even botanical flavors such as juniper, coriander, and lemon balm while the Rhubarb G&T injects a tart, fruity note to the quinine bitterness the original drink is known for. And if you’re a die-hard fan of the ever refreshing gin & tonic, rest assured Dalston’s went through over 20 rounds of testing before they were satisfied! You can expect to find them on Amazon and other independent retailers in January. Just in time for health-conscious resolutions and the newly sober curious!
Jinx! Buy me an… AHA?
In today’s health-conscious world where sugar is the enemy – calorie-free, flavored sparkling waters are our heroes. This has become a huge market, in which LaCroix is the primary player. But how long will sparkling water make us think of LaCroix? Will a new contender emerge?
Coca-Cola is launching a flavored, sparkling water called AHA. The first flavors to be released are: apple & ginger, blueberry & pomegranate, lime and watermelon, orange & grapefruit, peach & honey, and strawberry & cucumber. There will also be two caffeine-infused varieties – citrus & green tea and black cherry & coffee.
These flavors are a little bolder than the traditional berry or lime that you may see with other brands. AHA’s unique hybrid flavors are sure to capture more attention than a simple lemon, but will they capture the palette? We’ll find out in March 2020!
Pepsi Generates “Buzz” with New Offerings
PepsiCo, the global brand known for its soda aisle dominance, is leaning into the new decade by introducing a couple of products outside its usual purview.
The first is Pepsi Café, a beverage blend that mixes the classic taste of Pepsi with coffee. The drink will come in regular and vanilla flavors. It also offers double the caffeine content of normal Pepsi, so feel free to experiment with it as a morning beverage, or even an afternoon picker-upper. This news comes on the heels of the much-heralded release of Coca-Cola Plus Coffee, a similar formulation that is now offered in at least 25 countries. Pepsi Café won’t make an appearance in the US until April 2020, but it’s game-on after that.
In partnership with Bravo, the TV channel, Pepsi has also introduced a limited-edition non-alcoholic sparkling rosé which comes in an elegant glass bottle that mirrors the translucent bottles of red-tinted rosé that have gained major traction in the wine market over the past few years. The drink made its debut at BravoCon in November in a cross-promotional event targeted at viewers of shows like Vanderpump Rules and the Real Housewives series of shows. The drink mash-up was also featured on an episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, another Bravo hit. Depending on how this initial release goes, Pepsi may relaunch the drink during the summer, which is peak season for rosé sales.
Share a Coke with… Your Next Cocktail!
If you describe your ideal flavor profile as woody, smoky, herbal, or spicy, Coca-Cola has got you covered with their new Signature Mixers. Pairing well with spiced rums, tequila, and spicy or sweet whiskeys, Coca-Cola released these four new offerings in early May, but we are seeing traction online ramping up in the past few months as people start to use these mixers more.
Formulated with the aid of some of the world’s leading bartenders, these four flavors are a good summation of a few of the broader trends the food/beverage space saw in 2019. We know that spicy hit hard this year so that flavor was no surprise, and herbal/botanical flavors have been steadily on the rise since early 2018! However, we found the woody and smoky flavors surprising, yet indicative, of the growing trend towards open-fire grilling, which has become much more popular as consumers try to get “back to their roots” with more traditional methods of food prep!
Kom-NEW-cha Flavors to Round Out 2019
Flying Embers released six new flavors to their hard kombucha line-up. Some of the more interesting flavors included, ginger & oak, pineapple chili, and lemon orchard. Described as, “earthy and familiar with a crisp, cool taste,” ginger & oak is not the only evidence that oak is poised for a surge in 2020, as the woody flavor also made its way into Brew Dr’s kombucha line-up when they released a vanilla oak flavor in early November.
Again, we see a lot of wood flavors making their way onto the scene, with many restaurants and brands featuring woody/smoky details in their products and menu items as individual smoking, with artisanal wood types, (like oak, cherrywood, and maplewood) has become much more popular. We hope you get a chance to sample these bubbly probiotics in the new year – and keep an eye out as oak and other wood flavors find their way into your everyday food items.
‘Tis the Season for New Flavors…
Especially when it comes to holiday beer. Gingerbread, pumpkin, cinnamon, and even caramel have all embellished lagers, ales, and brews of all types. Going into winter this year gave rise to the question: “Okay…what’s next?” When it comes to future flavors however, two stalwarts of the brewing industry have looked to their past.
The full-bodied creamy taste of Yuengling’s Dark Brewed Porter has always been a holiday favorite. This year, however, Yuengling partnered with another Pennsylvania native to add the unmistakable taste of Hershey’s chocolate. Just in time for the winter and spring chocolate-lovers holidays, the combination of caramel, cocoa, and dark roasted malt has already won over novelty beer fans – with cries of “It is delicious!” “Get in my fridge!” “Two great icons to taste great!” *Note: One of our authors, Ashley Kindle, tried this beer and agrees, “Where I tasted it didn’t have it in cans, I had to buy several growlers to get it home. It’s fantastic and I don’t like porters!”
Meanwhile, Belgian brewer Stella Artois, is releasing its first seasonal beer in the brand’s history, specifically developed for American consumers who seek out European-influenced brews. The limited release Midnight Lager infuses Stella Artois’ original old world roasted dark malts, giving the beer its signature “midnight sky” color – all balanced out with Herkules and Saaz hops to add a note of earthiness. A truly crafted experience in the Stella tradition, this holiday brew is filled with subtle notes of Belgian dark chocolate and freshly brewed espresso, boasting a surprisingly crisp finish with a pleasant hint of smoke. Stella recommends Midnight Lager as the perfect pairing for other rich palate pleasers, such as pork roast, brisket, grilled steak, and even sweet, nutty cheeses (fresh goat or gouda), and rich chocolate desserts.
Yuengling. Hershey. Stella Artois. Showing that sometimes the best innovation comes from reaching to the flavors of our past!