SodaStream moves into alcohol
SodaStream has launched a limited edition alcoholic concentrate, called ‘Sparkling Gold’, for Christmas.
SodaStream allows consumers to turn tap water into flavored and sparkling water via an in-home machine. Now, the alcoholic concentrate can be added to sparkling water to creative a festive beverage ‘resembling the taste of a fruity Riesling wine’.
Daniel Birnbaum, chief executive officer of SodaStream, said: “Fun and exciting concentrates give more users the opportunity to enjoy and even indulge in festive beverages this holiday season.”
The concentrate is available solely via SodaStream’s Germany online shop, packed in a 200ml gold-tinted bottle that can create 12 glasses of drink.
SodaStream has also launched Fruit Drops - a range of bottled flavor essences - in the US this month. The range is made up of zero calorie, preservative free flavors that can be added to sparkling water made with a SodaStream machine. The line is available in five flavors (lemon, lime, raspberry, orange and mango) at major US retailers for a SRP of $3.99 for a 40ml bottle, which flavors up to 80 servings of sparkling water.
Australia’s first hemp beer
East 9th Brewing, an independent brewery in Melbourne, Australia, has launched the first commercially available hemp beer in the country.
The beer was released on Sunday 12 November, the day new laws passed allowing Australians to consume hemp products. Hemp – a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species - had been banned from human consumption since the early 1990s.
East 9th Brewing has released 50,000 liters of Doss Blockos Hempire Hemp Ale in kegs to 70 venues across the country, with plans to expand distribution and product range into a packaged variant by early 2018.
Doss Blockos Hempire Hemp Ale uses ground organic hemp seeds in the brew recipe, which the brewery says creates a “distinctive profile – think nutty and smoky - with a subtle creamy mouth feel characteristic of the hemp seeds.”
The consumable hemp industry is expected to reach AUD $1bn in Australia within the next decade.
Coca-Cola Australia has launched a limited edition summer flavor: Coca-Cola Raspberry.
The drink was launched in New Zealand last month, and is now launching in Australia, targeting the young adult and teen market.
Australia has also launched other limited edition flavors including Coca-Cola Plus Coffee No Sugar and Coca-Cola Ginger.
Coca-Cola Raspberry has 25% less sugar than classic Coca-Cola. It will be available in major and independent retailers and across the country in formats including a 200ml mini can and 330ml glass.
Pure Leaf matcha tea
Unilever’s Pure Leaf tea brand has launched home brewed Matcha teas, sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified tea estates in Kagoshima, Japan.
Pure Matcha and Matcha with Ginger are available in pre-portioned, individually wrapped sachets.
George Hamilton, Tea Director at Unilever, said: "As more Americans choose to make tea part of their daily routines, they are looking for an authentic home brewed tea experience at an accessible price.
"Both uncompromised and uncomplicated, the new Pure Leaf home brewed Matcha Teas allow for consumers to enjoy high-quality Matcha at home in just a few simple steps."
Sold in 12-count jars for a suggested retail price of $8.49, the teas are available in grocery, mass market retailers and select club stores across the US, as well as online.
Quirky UK cordial brand
Devon-based social enterprise company, Bicycle Moon, has launched a premium organic cordial.
The cordial uses a high fruit content without added sugar or chemical additives: using organic apple concentrate as a sweetener.
The brand is certified organic and biodynamic by Demeter. Cordial is available in five flavors: blackcurrant, elderberry, rosehip, sour cherry and strawberry, at £9.95 for a 500ml bottle.
Co-founder Yolanda Drewell said: “The brand is based on the idea that Bicycle Moon is a hypothetical place where conscious individuals live in community, eating wholesome food, collect experiences not stuff, and tread lightly on the earth.
“This is the type of lifestyle that many of us aspire to nowadays, and as a company, and as people, it’s a way of being in the world that we espouse. In all that we do, we try to make better choices in terms of our eco-credentials and the way we build relationships with our customers.”
Thums Up in India
Coca-Cola India has launched a new line of Thums Up, called Thums Up Charged, while pledging to make the cola its first home-grown billion dollar beverage brand within two years.
Thums Up Charged ‘offers extra thunder’ to consumers and the launch will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign to promote ‘the brand’s great taste and functional stimulation’. It will be available in seven different pack sizes and formats, from 180ml cans to 500ml PET bottles.
The Thums Up brand will also benefit from new packs, expanded distribution and augmented manufacturing capacity.
Low alcohol wines
UK supermarket Tesco has launched a new range of low alcohol wines, seeing ‘record demand’ in the category.
The range includes a Cabernet Tempranillo, a Grenacha-Rosé and a Sauvignon Blanc (the latter two in both still and sparkling varieties), all at less than 0.5% ABV.
Tesco says an improved taste for the new range – ‘virtually indistinguishable from its alcoholic counterparts’ - comes from a new spinning cone technique that gently removes the alcohol without sacrificing the aroma, quality and flavor profile of the wine.
Tesco wine expert Alexandra Runciman said: “Consumption of alcohol in the UK down is down by 18% over the last decade and we're seeing more customers looking for a quality wine drinking experience without the alcohol.”
Single malt whisky
Bowmore, the oldest licensed distillery on the Scottish isle of Islay, has launched the Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whisky Vintner’s Trilogy in the US this month.
The Vintner’s Trilogy will feature a collection of single malt whiskies including: Bowmore 18 Years Old Double Matured Manzanilla, Bowmore 26 Years Old Wine Matured and a final 27 Years Old bottling that will be released in 2018.
“The whiskies in Bowmore’s Vintner’s Trilogy have been aged with manzanilla sherry, wine, bourbon and Islay malt barrels, imparting complex layers of flavors to the signature Bowmore profile to produce this range of premium, collectable whiskies,” according to the Beam Suntory brand.
Tom of Finland
Tom of Finland Wines is launching in the US, following its debut in Finland last year.
The label was created in tribute to the legacy and artwork of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991), known as Tom of Finland.
Tom of Finland wines is made in partnership with the Tom of Finland Foundation, a non-profit organisation which aims to preserve Tom of Finland’s work.
The inaugural launch in the US is the 2015 OUTstanding RED, available online for $24.
Coca-Cola launches frozen fruit dessert with Minute Maid
Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid brand is launching a frozen fruit dessert in India.
Minute Maid Perfect Fruit with strawberry and blueberry will be followed by the Indian flavors of mango and litchi.
The pilot test of the frozen dessert has been carried out at a number of locations in Bangalore in service size of 100ml and 50ml, and the product aims to be on the market in summer next year.
Minute Maid Perfect Fruit is a sugar free, zero- fat, non-dairy frozen dessert that offers consumers of all ages a way to enjoy a fruit snack on the go. Made from real fruit, the new offering from Coca-Cola India has the consistency of an ice-cream and is dispensed from a customized machine.
Minute Maid Perfect Fruit will be launched across several metropolitan cities.
Coca-Cola India is now focusing on beverage plus products, driving the demand for products made from locally sourced fruits. It says it is trying to create an extended value chain for fruits grown in farms across India, and has also recently launched new variants of Minute Maid fruit juices.
The Indian launch follows Perfect Fruit’s debut in Australia.
Scottish premium tonic water
Scottish gin producers NB Distillery and Bon Accord soft drinks have launched a co-branded premium tonic.
The companies say they are responding to consumer demand for a good-quality, flavorsome tonic, to go with NB distillery’s premium spirits.
“Specifically designed to complement gin as the hero product and not mask it, the tonic uses natural quinine and provides a clean, crisp flavor with hints of citrus and vanilla,” say the companies. “It contains less quinine than other tonic waters, providing a less bitter flavor throughout and a more subtle, refreshing taste.”
The tonic has a RRP of 95p per bottle or £20 per case, and is currently available at Wine and Whisky merchant Lockett Bros. It will roll out to other locations over the coming year.
Alkaline ionized bottled water
ACTIPH Water, an alkaline ionized bottled water, has launched in the UK.
The water uses a three-stage process of purifying spring water, adding electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium) and supercharging by ionization.
Spring water is sourced from the Shropshire Hills and then purified with reverse osmosis to remove any heavy contaminants and unwanted microorganisms. It is then infused with pure alkaline minerals, and an ionization process removes bitter tasting acidic ions.
ACTIPH Water is available in 600ml and 1 liter bottle sizes and has an RRP of £1.39 and £1.99, respectively.
Carlsberg Christmas brew
Carlsberg UK has launched its first Carlsberg Christmas beer: initially available exclusively in Northamptonshire pubs.
The 5% ABV brew offers 'a full-bodied taste with a balance of sweetness and bitterness, flavored with Christmas spices and the rich aroma of orange peel and cinnamon - reminiscent of the festive season'.
Julian Momen, CEO of Carlsberg UK, said it is the first time Carlsberg has brewed a Carlsberg Christmas beer - inspired by colleagues in Denmark who produce the popular festive Turborg beer, Julebryg.
Carlsberg UK will make a donation to the Northamptonshire Community Foundation's 'Surviving Winter Appeal' from proceeds from sales of the beer.
Wow charcoal detox arrives in France
British brand WOW has launched Detox Charbon (its 'dark detox' drink using activated charcoal) in France.
The drink comes in three flavors: lemon, lemon & mint, and raspberry.
It will be available in France in supermarket chain Carrefour as of next month, at a price of 2.49 euros for 250ml and 3.99 euros for 750ml.
In the UK, the brand has also expanded into selected Sainsbury's stores this month.