Asahi Soft Drink Ltd, a subsidiary of Asahi Group Holdings, is launching its top selling beverage in Asia - Juroku Cha - in the US.
Juroku Cha is a traditional Japanese grain and botanical tea made up of 16 natural ingredients. Unsweetened and naturally free of caffeine and gluten, Juroku Cha is one of the most popular RTD teas in Japan.
“Juroku” means sixteen and “Cha” means tea. “This traditional Japanese beverage is acclaimed for its authenticity and unique toasted flavor,” says Asahi.
“Packed with all-natural ingredients, Juroku Cha is brewed with a variety of healthy grains and botanicals including guava leaves, shiitake mushrooms, jujube, and kelp, along with ancient grains. Each of the 16 carefully selected ingredients are individually roasted to create an uplifting one of a kind taste.”
Juroku is now available for purchase on Amazon and at most Asian grocers and specialty retailers nationwide.
Vodka-based hard seltzer
UK cider maker Aston Manor is launching Sol Duc, a trio of low-calorie, alcoholic hard seltzers.
The range comes in three flavors: Strawberry & Lime, Raspberry & Rose and Rhubarb & Ginger. The drinks combine sparkling water, a dash of pure vodka and natural fruit flavours. A 330ml can (5% ABV) contains 95 calories; is free from added sugar, sweetener, or colours; and is suitable for gluten-free and vegan diets.
Calli O’Brien, marketing controller at Aston Manor, said: “The demand for lighter alcohol products in the UK is unfaltering. It is our ambition to make conscious drinking easier by creating a healthier, alcoholic alternative that won’t compromise on taste. We’ve achieved this with Sol Duc and can’t wait to see the consumer reaction when it launches.
“Sol Duc is all about purity and transparency; in contrast to the fermented alcohol bases seen in other hard seltzers. Sol Duc is simply sparkling water, a dash of vodka and natural flavouring. Our dual flavours are designed to provide an initial flavour hit, followed by a lingering intensity, to spark interest and give something to discover and enjoy. We didn’t want to be another ‘citrus’ flavor.”
Sol Duc is Aston Manor’s first foray into the hard seltzer market and is part of its ongoing investment into new production capabilities and resources.
“We are well-placed to diversify our product range, especially with a hard seltzer,” said O’Brien. “Through our transatlantic relationship with the Seattle Cider Company, we have gained invaluable insight and understanding of the hard seltzer category following its phenomenal success in the US. With Sol Duc we’re aiming to emulate that success in the UK.”
Sol Duc will be available from 25 September at a recommended retail price of £2 per can.
Juste Frais Smoothie
Juste Pressé is launching a smoothie line in France with two flavors.
The first is a blend of apples, red fruits, banana, coconut milk and oat flakes; while the second uses apples, pineapples, banana and coconut milk.
“Sweet, creamy, healthy and gourmand: the touch of coconut milk brings out the creaminess while allowing for a light smoothie, while the flavor of coconut enhances the delicate flavor of the pressed fruits,” says the brand.
The HPP smoothies are suitable for lactose intolerant consumers; vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians.
A 330ml bottle has a recommended retail price of €2.95.
Brew Dr. Kombucha launches Vanilla Blossom
US brand Brew Dr. Kombucha is introducing a new product, Vanilla Blossom: ‘a warming blend of vanilla bean and mulling spices combined with bursts of cherry, rooibos and hibiscus’.
Founder Matt Thomas said: “We have worked with organic vanilla bean for years now, and it’s been fun to continue to find new botanicals that pair unexpectedly well with it.
“This year we wanted to highlight warming spice notes while also delivering a subtle floral undertone.
"I think we have a really special blend here, balanced against a vanilla backdrop."
As with other limited edition flavors, the label is part of Brew Dr.’s artist series and features a botanical illustration from Brooklyn Seibold.
The new line is available across the US and will run until the end of the year.
Collagen protein drinks
German beverage creator Black Labels Company (BLC) has launched collagen protein drinks under its brand Maluma.
Maluma contains a specific blend of nutrients, including B-vitamins and protein, support the body’s natural production of collagen according to BLC, which is essential for skin health and elasticity. The drinks are low in calories and free of artificial flavours and preservatives.
The range comes in three flavors: Goji with strawberry and basil; açaí with guava and ginger; and passion fruit with lemongrass.
The drinks are packaged in Ardagh 250ml slim cans and are available in ALDI SÜD branches.
US company Austin Cocktails is releasing a new line of sparkling, canned cocktails made with premium spirits, natural ingredients and seltzer water.
With an ABV of 12.5%, each 8.4 ounce can contains two full cocktails. Austin Cocktails is entering the canned cocktail category with a variation of three of their existing bottled, ready-to-drink offerings: Cucumber Vodka Sparkling Mojito, Fred’s Ruby Red Sparkling Grapefruit Cocktail and Bergamot Orange Sparkling Margarita.
“Since 2019, RTD cocktails seem to have been priming for an explosive era,” says the brand. “In 2020, the RTD category has become the top growth driver in alcohol, and canned cocktails are up 140% from the previous year according to August 2020 Nielsen data. Since COVID, RTD canned cocktails have become especially popular as consumers are craving restaurant quality beverages from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”
All initial production runs for Austin Cocktails cans are pre-sold, and the company is now doubling production to meet demand.
Founded by sisters Jill Burns and Kelly Gasink in 2016, Austin Cocktails received a minority investment from Constellation Brands in 2018.
Austin Cocktails is available in 14 states and online. A four-pack of sparkling, canned cocktails retails at between $14.99-$16.99.
Italian water brand WAMI has launched in cans across Italy. The brand’s aim is to make a difference to millions of people who lack access to clean, accessible water.
The 0.44cl cans from Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East contain a QR code to enable consumers to discover the exact details of where their contribution has made a difference – sometimes identifying the individual family that received the water. Africa is the primary area of focus for WAMI: and to date 44 projects have been completed in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Ecuador.
The WAMI philosophy is to ‘buy one, give one’, and as a result of the company’s efforts, approximately 11,070 people have access to clean water both today and in the future, according to the brand.
CBD sparkling water brand Weller is widening its better-for-you platform with a broader range of sparkling drinks. It launches its first non-CBD product – Sparkling Immunity – this month.
“Freshly squeezed elderberry juice is the sparkling water’s star ingredient, filling each can with natural immune-boosting power from antioxidants and vitamins,” says the brand.
“Secondary fruit flavors like peach, strawberry and lemon-lime round out the palate with multi-dimensional, craveable flavors that will pique the interest of existing sparkling water consumers. The simple, all-natural ingredient list offers a core nutrient profile of vitamin C, vitamin D3, zinc, and magnesium for a healthy daily habit that provides immune support in every sip.”
Sparkling Immunity is launching across its existing footprint of 1,500 retailers across the US; as well as eyeing up the strategic advantage of placing the brand with retailers that haven’t adopted CBD beverages.
The new line will be available in stores across 25 states and on the Weller website at the end of September. Sparkling Immunity will be available for $2.99 per 12 fl oz can and comes in three varieties: Elderberry + Peach, Elderberry + Lemon-Lime, and Elderberry + Strawberry.
Bud Light Platinum Seltzer
Anheuser-Busch is expanding its Bud Light Platinum portfolio with Bud Light Platinum Seltzer.
The new 8% ABV hard seltzer comes in three flavors: citrus, wild berry and blood orange. It is made from cane sugar, sparkling water, natural fruit favors, agave, and comes in at 170 calories in a 12 fl oz can. It is available nationwide in the US.
Andy Goeler, VP of Marketing, Bud Light, said: “Building off the continued success we have with Bud Light Seltzer and Bud Light Platinum, we’re taking the momentum we have in both categories to announce a brand-new innovation: Bud Light Platinum Seltzer.
“Our strategy has and remains on giving our fans what they want and creating innovations that attract new drinkers to the Bud Light Family, all while remaining competitive in the market.”
Molson Coors probiotic seltzer
Molson Coors is launching non-alcoholic HUZZAH Probiotic Seltzer in the US, promising more innovations in the non-alcoholic category are to follow.
Huzzah Probiotic Seltzer is a ‘pumped-up, full-flavored seltzer with added probiotics to help support a healthy gut’.
The shelf-stable beverage has 3g sugar and 15 calories per 12 oz can (or fewer, depending on the flavor). The three flavors are Strawberry & Hibiscus; Juicy Pear; and Raspberry & Lemon.
Huzzah is available online and in select Southern California retailers starting from this month.