Swedish whisky distillery Mackmyra has launched the world’s first whisky created using artificial intelligence.
Intelligens is a Swedish single malt whisky with a golden colour and a taste of vanilla, oak tones, citrus and pear, which has been created with AI with Mackmyra’s Master Blender Angela D’Orazio acting as a ’mentor’.
Intelligens is the result of a collaboration between Mackmyra and and Finnish technology company Fourkind, and is based on the Microsoft Azure platform. Mackmyra provided Fourkind with its 75 whisky recipes, which have been compiled over the years with the help of Mackmyra’s ambassadors, and supplemented this information with customer feedback, reviews, ratings, medals, evaluations and ratings.
Using this as the raw data, Fourkind built an AI model that generates new recipe suggestions. Jarno Kartela, Principal Machine Learning Partner, Fourkind, explained: “Algorithms don’t have minds, so we need a new approach in order to understand something as complicated as whisky. Even though they lack human expertise, we can teach machines to understand which elements make up past recipes and products, and how these are perceived and ranked by customers and experts.”
The 46.1% ABV whisky can be bought via Mackmyra.
Plant-based beverage company Plantsy has launched what it believes is the first-ever algae protein drink in the UK.
Algae is regarded a ‘complete protein’ as it contains all the essential amino acids required to build and maintain muscle mass.
Plantsy beverages come in two flavours – rhubarb & ginger and blood orange & grapefruit. They contain 15g of protein, are GMO-free, and rich in dietary fibre, healthy lipids, vitamins, and minerals. The drinks are also gluten-free, soy-free, and free from artificial sweeteners.
“As a person who has always been into sports and healthy lifestyle choices, I decided to integrate a plant-based diet into my life and learn more about nutrition and wellness,” said Plantsy founder Anya Prudkova.
“I started my degree in nutrition after I realised how passionate I am about plant-based alternatives. I want to empower and inspire people to be stronger and healthier using creative and nutritious vegan products designed to benefit an active lifestyle. My purpose is to make healthy simple and convenient.”
Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee
Mast-Jägermeister has launched a cold brew coffee version of its liqueur: fused with arabica coffee and cacao.
The drink has ‘an intricate coffee flavour profile complemented by the classic Jägermeister taste’, and can be served as an ice-cold shot.
Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee (33% ANB) is rolling out across the UK this month with a RSP of £18 for a 70cl bottle.
Coffee infused Cola
Coca-Cola is bringing its Coca-Cola Plus Coffee to South Africa, as part of its expansion to 25 countries worldwide this year.
Coca-Cola Plus Coffee is infused with Brazilian coffee bean powder, giving ‘the great refreshing taste of Coca-Cola fused with real coffee to give a refreshing upliftment’.
Coffee in Sub Saharan Africa is perceived as a luxury product, but is a growing market, says Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola Plus Coffee is already available in Australia, Japan, Italy and Vietnam.
Equinox Kombucha has launched two new products: Espresso Coffee and Peach and Turmeric flavors.
Equinox says Espresso Coffee is the UK’s first coffee kombucha. It is lower in caffeine than normal coffee for a ‘gentle, sustainable boost’.
The new drinks are available in Waitrose stores at a RSP of £1.80.
Equinox’s existing range includes original, ginger, raspberry and elderflower, and grapefruit and guava.
Natural Light Seltzer
US light beer brand Natural Light, known also as ‘natty’, has jumped into the hard seltzer category. The Natural Light Seltzer launched with two flavors, available in cans in multipacks.
Catalina Lime Mixer features black cherry and lime and Aloha Beaches is flavored with mango and peach. The seltzers are a 6% ABV and will be a year-round product.
Ricardo Marques, VP of core and value brands at Anheuser-Busch, said "The seltzer category is booming. It's part of a larger shift in consumption across America and we believe it has tremendous staying power.
"We know plenty of Natty Light drinkers are also trying seltzer, so we want to meet that demand by bringing the fun of Natty into that space with an affordable price offering that fits their lifestyle."
City Roots Cider
A new craft cider brand has launched in Boston. City Roots Cider debuted with an Original Dry cider, and two seasonal flavors, Rosé and Pumpkin. The Rosé features hibiscus flowers for a tart and floral cider, colored bright pink. The Pumpkin blends seasonal spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove.
From parent company Mass. Bay Brewing Company, Inc., City Roots is a mission-led brand that will contribute 1% of all sales to environmental nonprofits to better outdoor urban areas. It’s launching first throughout New England with more markets planned for the future.
Dan Kenary, CEO and co-founder of Mass. Bay Brewing Company, said “At [MBBC], we’re all about innovating in new categories, and contributing to the communities we call home. City Roots helps us do both – establish a brand dedicated entirely to the cider category, while giving our fans something new to enjoy, and a reason to feel good about it.”
Hostess Cappuccino Cups
In partnership with Trilliant Food & Nutrition, Hostess has launched a new collection of flavored hot beverage cups. The Twinkies, CupCakes, and Sno Balls flavors are cappuccinos and the Ding Dongs flavor is a hot cocoa.
Trilliant describes its products as single-serve gourmet coffees that are compatible with Keurig coffee machines. It collaborates with known brands for limited releases, like Hostess and Margaritaville.
The new cappuccino and cocoa Hostess flavors come in addition to Trilliant’s existing Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Sno Balls and Honey Bun flavored coffee cups. All the products except the hot cocoa are caffeinated.
Bill Iggins, chief commercial officer at Trilliant, said “We are excited to partner with an iconic brand like Hostess. Hostess inspired flavors provide the fun and indulgent variety consumers, especially millennials, are looking for.”
Chameleon Seasonal Cold Brew
Organic cold brew coffee brand Chameleon rolled out its limited edition offerings for the 2019 holiday season. The Pumpkin Spice Oat Milk and Gingersnap Oat Milk lattes come in 46oz multiserves, available at Target and Whole Foods in the US.
Chameleon chose oats as the latte base, calling it “an ideal dairy-free alternative due to its smaller environmental footprint in relation to nut-based milks — a reflection of Chameleon's commitment to long-term sustainability.”
Matt Swenson, chief product officer at Chameleon, said "We're thrilled to introduce our first limited edition seasonal cold brew lattes this fall. These two flavors deliver Chameleon's signature cold brew taste with a delicious holiday spin."
Cha Cha Matcha iced tea
Cafe chain Cha Cha Matcha canned its tea-based drinks for potential nationwide distribution last month. With five locations between New York City and Los Angeles, Cha Cha specializes in matcha-flavored products, including hot drinks, cold drinks and soft serve ice cream.
The canned line launches with Activated Charcoal Matcha, Half N Half Matcha Lemonade, Matcha Green Tea and Ginger Turmeric Matcha. They are available now online, at Cha Cha locations and select regional retailers.
The drinks contain between 65mg-85mg of caffeine per can, made with ceremonial grade matcha sourced from Japan.