Lower alcohol vodka
Diageo Reserve's super-premium vodka brand, Ketel One, has launched Ketel One Botanical (pictured above).
Available in the UK, the spirit is distilled with botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences for a 'crisp, refreshing taste'.
Ketel One comes in three variants: Peach & Orange Blossom; Cucumber & Mint; Grapefruit & Rose. The spirit has a lower ABV of 30%, and contains 82 calories per serve.
Bob Nolet, 11th generation master distiller at the Nolet Distillery, said: "We've watched the gin category boom in recent years, introducing new and herbaceous flavors.
"Premium vodka continues to grow alongside this, currently up 6.2% by value with innovation driving this. We see Ketel One Botanical playing a key part of this on-going evolution, targeting inquisitive consumers open to trying new flavor combinations."
Fiji Gold Moli
Coca-Cola Amatil’s Paradise Beverages is launching a new lemon-infused beer in Fiji: called Fiji Gold Moli.
The beer is based on Fiji Gold, which was launched in 1998. Paradise Beverages believes the drink will appeal to people who wouldn’t usually consider a beer; and say the beverage is lower in calories than other lagers.
Mike Spencer, general manager, Paradise Beverages, said: “Fiji Gold Moli is a refreshing, lemon-flavored take on the nation’s favourite brew, Fiji Gold.
"We recognise that Fijian tastes are changing: consumers are looking for different beer styles to those that we’ve traditionally produced. Lemon-flavored beers are on trend worldwide and we’re backing Moli’s refreshment and clean crisp taste to be a hit in Fiji.”
Probiotics meet plant-based
Lifeway, a US supplier of Kefir, is entering the $11bn plant-based beverage category with Plantiful.
Plantiful is a plant-based probiotic drink, and will be offered in adult and kid-friendly formats that are organic, non-GMO and vegan.
Plantiful contains 10 strains of probiotics and 10g protein per serving, which Lifeway says is more than most comparable plant-based beverages on the market.
Lifeway is also reformating kefir in 8oz single-serve bottles for grab and go channels; as well as expanding distribution at health and wellness restaurant chain Freshii with Lifeway frozen kefir and smoothies now available in all US locations.
Organic drinks brand LemonAid is launching a new ginger flavor in France this spring.
“With a base of ginger and a touch of lemon zest, this drink will appeal to all palates! This refreshing lemonade is a delicious alternative to conventional sodas, with a simple recipe of 100% natural fruit juice, a pinch of cane sugar and water – that’s all.”
The new beverage is the fourth flavor in the line-up, joining lime, passionfruit and orange sanguine.
LemonAid was founded in 2009 as an ethical and responsible business. It uses organic and fair trade ingredients, and for each bottle produced 5 euro cents goes to its foundation LemonAid and ChariTea e.V.
Ginger tea and plum juice
Chinese food company Shou Quan Zhai is expanding in the beverage market with the launch of RTD ginger tea and plum juice drinks.
The products are being launched this month on Shou Quan Zhai’s online store, e-commerce channels and retail locations across China. They will be followed by more products as the company expands its beverage presence.
The new drinks will be packaged in 200ml Ecolean Air Aseptic packs, which can be used in the microwave if consumers prefer to consume their ginger tea warm. The packs are the first non-dairy Ecolean packages in the Chinese market.
Founded in 1760, Shou Quan Zhai is one of the oldest food companies in China.
Nestle Waters brand Poland Spring has unveiled six new flavors in the US.
The new sparkling flavors are designed to meet consumers' demand for bubbly options that are alternatives to sugary beverages.
The new flavors are: Ruby Red Grapefruit; Lemon Ginger, White Peach Ginger; Blood Orange Hibiscus, Orange Mango and Vanilla Flavor Twist.
Hibiscus was named as 2019's 'flavor of the year', according to Firmenich, while lemon and grapefruit are along the top three sought-after flavors according to Nielsen.
The new launches join the existing portfolio of Lively Lemon, Lemon Lime, Zesty Lime, Orange, Triple Berry, Summer Strawberry, Raspberry Lime, Black Cherry, Pomegranate Lemonade, and Simply Bubbles.
Australian spirits brand Manly Spirits has launched a range of gin and botanical vodka in the UK.
The spirits are made using ingredients from the Sydney coastline, and are all distilled, bottled and labelled by hand at Manly’s distillery. The range includes Australian Dry Gin, Coastal Citrus Gin and Marine Botanical Vodka; and will be followed by a Whisky Barrel Aged Gin, a Terra Firma Botanical Vodka and a Zesty Limoncello.
Black Fin cold brew coffee liqueur will follow in April 2019 after its launch in Australia.
The botanical pantry draws on marine influences, including ingredients such as sea lettuce, sea kelp, anise myrtle, finger lime and lemon aspen.
Head Distiller Tim Stones, formerly of Beefeater gin and Chivas Brothers Limited, said, ‘The work of the Manly Spirits Co. team continually explores the Australian botanical pantry and draws inspiration from the natural surroundings of Manly’s famed marine sanctuary.
“This has resulted in a unique range of spirits, with industry experts and consumers commenting on their distinctive coastal flavours. For the on-trade this opens up potential for a host of quirkier food and spirits pairings, as well as more interesting serves.’
Manly Spirits is represented by Boutique Bar Brands in the UK with products available for trade consumers through Enotria & Coe.
Allagash Brewing Co (Portland, Maine) has released Sun Drift: a Belgian-style beer brewed with local grain, lemon zest, fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, and blended with black tea.
The brew has a ‘slightly tart note that’s accompanied by a medley of funky tropical fruit flavors, created by Brettanomyces yeast’. The use of Fair Trade Yunnan Black tea from Little Red Cup of Brunswick, Maine, creates a ‘refreshing combination of lemonade and tea, all cruising on a layer of fruit-filled aromatics’.
Sun Drift is made with local pale malt and local raw oats. It’s hopped with Cascade and Citra, then fermented on a combination of Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces Claussenii.
Sun Drift is available in the following states: CA, CT, DC, GA, IL (Chicagoland only), MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT.
Beefeater Blood Orange
Pernod Ricard’s Beefeater gin brand will roll out a new Beefeater Blood Orange drink next month in the UK.
A year ago Beefeater debuted Beefeater Pink to coincide with Valentine’s Day.
Pernod Ricard says that there is now a ‘significant opportunity’ for orange gin in the UK, with it becoming the second-fastest growing gin flavor after pink.
Beefeater Blood Orange (37.5% ABV) retails at £18.99.
Spiked Sparkling Water brand Truly Hard Seltzer has launched a Rose variety for Valentines Day.
Packaged in a slim can, the water has ‘a delicately sweet and tad tart fruity flavor, with a hint of California Chardonnay grapes’.
It contains 100 calories, 1g sugar and 5% ABV.
UK start-up Matcha Works is launching its sparkling matcha energy drink next month, targeting 18-30 year olds with demanding urban lifestyles.
Coming in three flavors – lemon and lime, watermelon, and unflavoured ‘straight up’ – the drinks focus on the use of natural caffeine in matcha rather than sugar as its energy source.
The sparkling energy drink joins Matcha Works’ line of ‘matcha green m*ilks’.