Canned mixed drinks and bolder sodas are set to overwhelm summer

By the time you aerate a fresh one in late spring, you may be drinking another option besides brewing.

Consumers will be wowed by a wide assortment of new alcoholic refreshments hitting shelves, with major brands expanding their portfolios to offset the reduction in larger transactions.

Canned mixed drinks and fortified seltzers with revamped flavors (sorry, exhausting old lime!) are gaining notoriety as Americans praise the warmer climate.

“This late spring will be a reset,” said Molson Coors vice president of development Jamie Wideman.

“Last year, people had one foot on the outside and one foot on the inside. I think the chance to investigate and find new refreshes will be something big this mid-year.

With that in mind, the organization is on fire for the highly anticipated nationwide shipment of Simply Spiked Lemonade on June 6th.

The cocktail, brightened up with Simply brand natural product juices, is a joint effort between Molson Coors and Coca-Cola (KO). Flavors include Strawberry Lemonade, Watermelon Lemonade, Blueberry Lemonade, and Regular Lemonade.

“Customers are now using the non-alcoholic Simply brand as a hallmark of their mixology regiment,” Wideman said.

“That way, carrying that into the ready-to-drink space was an easy decision.”

Fundamentally, Spiked Lemonade typifies a general pattern of blurring the lines between non-alcoholic and cocktails, as organizations hope to rely on household names and increase revenue.

For example, Boston Beer Company (SAM) recently cooperated with PepsiCo to turn Mountain Dew into a caffeine-free cocktail and Molson Coors (TAP) has achievements with its enriched Topo Chico setup.

Indeed, even hard liquor organizations are moving into the canned mixed drink space. Lately, Cazadores Tequila made canned margaritas and Jack Daniels introduced upgraded bourbons, including assortments of apples, cola and lemonade.

Ready-to-drink mixed beverage offerings have exploded as consumers seek convenience and new flavors beyond wine and beer.

This classification of refreshments increased by 53% last year and is expected to increase by another 29% over the next three years, according to information from beverage analysis IWSR.

Fortified seltzer also remains well-known, despite cautionary signs that the once-new drink is losing a piece of the pie.

The class grew nearly 4% in the previous year, missing the mark on the additions seen with canned mixed drinks. The market is currently overwhelmed with over 300 brands on display.

This has caused organizations to return to the planning phase and release more impactful flavors.

White Claw, which remains the top-selling brand of seltzer, saw a 7% decline in business the previous year according to IRI, a Chicago-based statistical survey firm.

It has recently made bolder adaptations, including White Claw Surf which uses intriguing flavors (e.g. lemon yuzu crush) and a chilled tea and lemonade pack called REFRSHR.

“As a class leader and creator, White Claw understands the requirement for new development to maintain our status as the leading brand of hard seltzer, where last year we offered more than $2 billion to the class” , John Shea, head of promotion for White Claw Official, said.

Genuinely Hard Seltzer remains the second largest brand, with offerings growing 13% year over year. Boston Beer’s claimed brand has blended it to load it up with flavors like pina colada and strawberry melon bubble. He even ventured into selling vodka.

Anheuser-Busch (BUD) is also staying safe with its ever-expanding Bud Light Seltzer arrangement which currently includes around two dozen flavors.

“There’s a development here and it’s currently coming from the rise of bolder flavors that are driving customer interest in items like Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda,” said Simon Wuestenberg, the central transaction manager for the organization.

Anheuser-Busch has bolstered its setup with mixed-drink-driven seltzers and tough enhanced choices.
Still, with additional assortments to browse, Wideman warned that consumers have the advantage of being finicky.

“Individuals will be less forgiving of things that don’t taste good,” she said. “We know what is happening on the planet and in the economy. Dollars are vital to them and they need to put their dollars into purchasing items that they know will follow through on their assumptions.

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