New product launches, June 2016

What’s hitting the shelves? Smirnoff fruit cider, Nespresso Cuban coffee, craft soda & energy water

By Rachel Arthur and Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Smirnoff's fruit cider comes in raspberry & pomegranate and passionfruit & lime.
Smirnoff's fruit cider comes in raspberry & pomegranate and passionfruit & lime.

Related tags Coffee

Smirnoff has announced its entry into the growing fruit cider category, while Nespresso is launching the first Cuban coffee to be sold in the US for more than 50 years. From craft soda to whisky and rum, here are some of the beverage launches hitting the shelves this month. 

Smirnoff enters fruit cider category

Diageo brand Smirnoff says it can ‘take cider to the next level’ with its launch of Smirnoff Cider in raspberry & pomegranate and passionfruit & lime.

The beverages (pictured above) are lightly fizzed cider with a blend of fruit flavors, combined with Smirnoff vodka.

There have been a number of innovations into the fruit cider category over the last few years, and as the market continues to grow in both the on and off trade channels, we still see that there is potential to grow the category even further,”​ said Claire O’Neill, innovation commercialisation manager at Diageo GB.

“By entering into the fruit cider category under the strength of the Smirnoff brand name, and with two original flavour offerings, we’re confident Smirnoff will take cider to the next level.”

Smirnoff Cider will be available in the UK in PMPs for the off-trade at an RRP of £1.99, and for the on-trade at a RRP of £4.50.

Crystal Pepsi returns

crystal pepsi
Crystal Pepsi

Crystal Pepsi – ‘the iconic 90s clear cola’ – will be made available for a limited period in the US and Canada this summer.

As of July 11 (Canada) and August 8 (US), 20-ounce bottles of Crystal Pepsi will be available at major retailers for a suggested retail price of $1.79.

"We've always had a special place in our heart for Crystal Pepsi, and there has been a huge groundswell of support to bring it back,"​ said Stacy Taffet, senior director, marketing, Pepsi.

Crystal Pepsi was made available briefly last year, via a sweepstakes app in the US. 

YumCha: a new way of making iced tea


Iced tea brand YumCha is launching in the UK with its alternative to iced teas that are “little more than an everyday juice style drink’.

Yum Cha is not a RTD beverage: consumers prepare the beverage by mixing one dessert spoon of Yum Cha with water. It can also be used as a summer cocktail base or made with hot water as a winter warmer.

The brand points to the flavorings and acidity regulators used in many UK iced teas, saying these remove most of the real tea flavor. Instead, YumCha Director Guy Woodall invented a patent-pending method of making iced tea, which allows for the production using a more traditional method with only natural ingredients and less sugar.

YumCha has concentrated on the mainland European market since its launch in 2012 but is now available in the UK at a RRP of £3.95.

Switchel-inspired Haymakers line

Pennsylvania’s Turkey Hill Dairy has launched a new ‘switchel inspired’ line of drinks called Haymakers, part of the celebrations for its 85th​ anniversary.

haymakers 2

The Haymakers line is available in ciders, punches and teas. The varieties are berry punch, lemon punch, sweet tea, lightly sweet tea, original cider and tart cider. The beverages use simple ingredients such as ginger, honey, vinegar and molasses.

“Before sports drinks and fortified waters there was switchel: and it helped get farmers through the hottest summer days of the hay harvest,”​ said Turkey Hill product development manager Derek Frey. “Recreating that recipe with a 21st century twist was the inspiration behind Haymakers.”

Haymakers beverages are available in 18.5 ounce and 57.6 ounce bottles at select grocers and convenience stores.

Canadian Club 100% Rye Whisky

canadian club
Canadian Club

Canadian Club 100% Rye has launched in the US, following its debut in Canada in 2014.

The whisky joins Beam Suntory’s Canadian Club portfolio of whiskies, including Canadian Club 1858, Canadian Club Reserve, and Canadian Club Classic 12 Year Old.

In the US its suggested retail price is $19.99 per 750ml bottle.

Nespresso launches Cuban coffee in the US

Nespresso is launching its limited edition Grand Cru Cafecito de Cuba in the US this fall, which it says will be the first Cuban coffee to be sold in the country for more than 50 years.


Nespresso says that recent regulatory changes in the US have allowed it to introduce the limited edition coffee.

In the long term, Nespresso says it will work with non-profit partner TechnoServe to explore how to work with coffee farmers in Cuba on the production of sustainable coffee and expanded economic opportunities in the long term.

In late April, the US Department of State updated its list of goods produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs that can be imported into the US to include coffee. This change paved the way for Nespresso to offer Cuban coffee in the US.

Virtue Energy Water

Virtue Energy Water, a range of energy waters with no sugar, calories or sweeteners, is launching in the UK this summer.

Virtue Energy Water

Each drink contains the same amount of natural caffeine as a cup of coffee (80mg).

The energy comes from natural sources such as yerba mate, guarana and ginseng.  

Virtue Energy Water is made in the UK with sparkling water, natural fruit flavors and no artificial ingredients.

The 250ml cans are available in two flavors, lemon & lime, and berries, at a RRP of £1.35. Drinks will be stocked at Ocado, Amazon, As Nature Intended and independent stores.

Nitro ESB

Mornington Peninsula Brewery has launched a nitro ESB, which it says is Australia’s first nitro-charged can.

Working with US brewer Vault Brewing Co, Chart Industries, and Liquid Nitrogen Services, the brewery has produced the 6.2% AVB which has a deep orange color and “sweet malt aromas of toffee and raspberry, underpinned by an earthy hop bouquet.”

The brewery says: “Using Nitrogen rather than CO2​ to carbonate the beer produces a smoother, thicker mouthfeel and less perceived bitterness as nitrogen is mostly insoluble.”

Cold brew coffee concentrate Bizzy Coffee - for busy people

Bizzy PR 3
Bizzy Coffee

Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bizzy Coffee is an organic cold brewed coffee concentrate that comes in a 16 ounce bottle. Bizzy Coffee is cold brewed for 18 hours, which the company says results in a less acidic taste.

The biggest goal for the company is to ‘keep growing our business’ by garnering as many subscribers as possible through its website, Grady Linder VP of sales and partnership for Bizzy Coffee told BeverageDaily.

Founders Andrew Healy and Alex French launched the product with the goal of creating a more convenient way to consume cold brew coffee. Each bottle contains six servings of coffee concentrate that can be mixed with hot or cold water, or used in smoothies.

Bizzy Coffee is available for purchased on the company website with the option of a biweekly, monthly and bi-monthly subscription. Each bottle costs $9.99 or $37.99 for four bottles. 

Craft soda expansion

Red Hare Brewing grapefruit craft soda
Sparkling Grapefruit

Red Hare Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Georgia, US, has expanded its craft soda brand with the launch of Sparkling Grapefruit.

Sparkling Grapefruit follows the launch of Red Hare’s Root Beer can launch in January, and the brewery plans to introduce a third soda flavor in the fall.

The grapefruit soda can be drunk “as a thirst quenching treat, or mixed with beer or liquor to create refreshing summer cocktails”,​ says the microbrewery.

It will be available on draught and in 6-pack cans from July. 

Summer editions for Vintage Seltzer

Vintage Seltzer is launching three summer limited edition flavors – blueberry, pineapple and peach mango – across retailers in the US.

Vintage seltzer
Vintage Seltzer

The flavors join the existing lemon-lime, mandarin orange, wild cherry, raspberry, and original variants.

The seltzers are naturally flavored without artificial flavors, sweeteners or sugar.

The summer flavors are available in one liter bottles for a suggested retail price of 79c.

Havana Club

A new dark rum variant from Havana Club, called Havana Club Añejo Clásico, is being introduced in the US. 

Añejo Clásico will debut in Florida in June, and roll out to Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas in July and August. Other states will be covered in September.

Havana Club Añejo Clásico will retail at $21.99 when it joins Havana Club Añejo Blanco ($19.99) on shelves.

Havana Club rum is based on a recipe created by the Arechabala family in Cuba in 1934.



Asian energy drink Carabao​ has launched in the UK.

The brand was established 15 years ago in Thailand, and is also available in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. 

Carabao will be a top-tier sponsor of Chelsea and Reading football clubs, from next season.

It is available in two varieties in the UK: original and sugar free. 

Carabao is packaged in a 325ml sleek can, selling at £1.19 per can, and hopes to attract a wider audience of consumers than other energy drinks.

RTD soup

Zupa Noma

Drinkable vegetable soup ZÜPA NOMA​ ​is gearing up to hit shelves in the US in July.

The brand says that Gazpacho - cold soup - is lower in sugar and higher in fiber than cold pressed juice, making it an attractive option as a snack or meal replacement. 

Tickle Water

Tickle Water

Tickle water​ - an unsweetened sparkling water for children - has launched in the US.

Its mission is to 'make water fun' for kids, says its founder.

The brand hopes to appeal to children and encourage healthy hydration, as well as putting moms' minds at ease because products are free from sugar, gluten, GMOs, sodium, calories and artificial sweeteners. 

Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend (with aspartame)

Diet Pepper Classic Sweetener Blend

Pepsi has announced the upcoming launch of Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend, which will be sweetened with aspartame. 

Aspartame was removed from standard Diet Pepsi in the US last year, but Pepsi says it wants to give consumers the option to choose an aspartame sweetened version through Classic Sweetener Blend. 

Pepsi's US diet cola portfolio will now consist of Diet Pepsi (sucralose and Ace-K), Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend (aspartame and Ace-K), and Pepsi Zero Sugar (the re-named Pepsi Max). 

ROAR Cosmic Grape
ROAR Cosmic Grape 

ROAR launches 'Cosmic Grape' flavor for Summer

ROAR Beverages' coconut water-based isotonic sports drink line has added a new flavor to its product line: Cosmic Grape. Representing the ninth flavor in the brand's portfolio​. Cosmic Grape was created to convey ROAR's high-energy and youthful lifestyle message.

“As with all our flavors we take great pride in creating a beverage that is inspired by the latest cultural lifestyle trends, that is not only healthy but speaks directly to our core consumer,” Roly Nesi, CEO of ROAR Beverages said.  

The 20-ounce bottle has 60 calories per 8-ounce serving free from artificial flavors, preservatives, gluten, high fructose corn syrup, and brominated vegetable oil available for purchase on the company's website. 

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