What's hitting the shelves? New beverage launches: March

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Brew Dr. Kombucha moves into yerba mate. Pic: Brew Dr. Kombucha.
Brew Dr. Kombucha moves into yerba mate. Pic: Brew Dr. Kombucha.

Related tags NABLAB New product development New product launches

From seltzer to switchel, we take a look at some of the new products hitting the shelves around the globe this month.

Lower calorie Budweiser Select

budweiser select

Anheuser-Busch will launch low-calorie Budweiser Select across the US, eyeing up growing consumer demand for a lower calorie beer option.

Budweiser Select was launched in 2005 but limited to St. Louis, where it has a higher per item rate of sale than Budweiser. The 4.3% ABV brew has 99 calories per each 12-ounce serving.

“Budweiser Select is a staple in St. Louis, so we’re excited to bring it back to consumers across the country with a full national distribution,”​ said Monica Rustgi, VP of Marketing at Budweiser. “We found that Bud lovers are looking for more beer options that are lower in calories, but they don’t want to sacrifice taste when it comes to their beer. Reintroducing this fan favorite is just another way we’re continuing to innovate to meet the needs of our consumer.”

Budweiser Select is now available wherever Budweiser is sold and comes in 12oz bottles in a 6-pack and 12-pack, 12 oz cans in a 12-pack, 24-pack and 30 pack. 

Michelob ULTRA expands seltzer flavors

michelob ultra classic collection

Eight weeks since its launch, Michelob ULTRA Organic Seltzer is expanding with the launch of three new flavors – mixed berry, citrus and mango apricot – in its Classic Collection.

“With only 90 calories, 2 carbs and 0 added sugar Michelob ULTRA Organic Seltzer Classic Collection is light, refreshing and ‘as real as it tastes,” ​says the brand.

The Anheuser-Busch drink will be available nationwide starting March 1 ​wherever Michelob ULTRA is sold in 12 pack 12oz cans (Mixed Berry will also be available in 16oz and 25oz cans). The new flavors join spicy pineapple, cucumber lime and peach pear.

Kylie's wine range

kylie wines france

Kylie Minogue’s wine range arrives in France this month, launching in supermarket giant Carrefour.

“After their strong success on the other side of the Channel, the wines of the celebrity pop star arrive in France, ready for spring and exclusively at Carrefour,” ​says the supermarket.

“Fascinated by the wine universe, Kylie Minogue now offers her own cuvées, the fruits of a collaboration with French producers and their savoir-faire.

“Involved at 100% in each step of their creation, Kylie has created a Rosé, Merlot, un Sauvignon Blanc et un Côtes-de-Provence.”

Beefeater Light


Gin brand Beefeater has launched a 20% ABV, gin-inspired spirit drink in Spain.

Beefeater Light is inspired by the brand’s nine botanical London Dry Gin recipe and is crafted in the same way as the rest of the portfolio, but with half the alcohol.

Pernod Ricard is launching the new product exclusively in Spain, Beefeater’s number one market worldwide, in response to the rising demand for lower-ABV spirit drinks.  In Spain, 54% of consumers are reducing or considering reducing the consumption of alcohol, to support a more balanced lifestyle.

“Beefeater Light is best enjoyed in the same way as a classic Beefeater & Tonic: Beefeater Light mixed with premium tonic, lots of ice and served with a lemon and orange wheel,”​ says the brand.

The drink has a RSP of €13.55.

Brew Dr. Kombucha: Uplift

Brew Dr. Kombucha is launching its first shelf stable yerba mate beverage, Uplift: the first non-kombucha product for the US company.

brew dr kombucha uplift

The drink - 'which features a gentle approach to energy' - contains natural caffeine and probiotics. It is made with brewed yerba mate, guayusa and green tea.

Brew Dr. Founder Matt Thomas said: “The earthy flavor of yerba mate balances very well with the fruit juices and botanicals we’ve chosen to pair it with in Uplift. We’re excited about this next step on the Brew Dr. journey exploring the wide world of tea.

"Yerba mate is said to enhance mood, raise energy levels, and increase mental focus, and is a source of amino acids, antioxidants, and other nutrients. With the unique benefit of added probiotics, plus 150 mg of natural caffeine from the combination of yerba mate, guayusa and green tea, Uplift serves as a healthier alternative to energy drinks, putting a natural pep in your step and goodness in your gut.

"Featuring all organic ingredients and real fruit juices, Uplift is a smooth natural energizer without the jitters or crash of coffee."

Uplift is available in three shelf-stable flavors: Blueberry Raspberry, Mango Passionfruit and Blood Orange Lemon. 

Nettle RTD drink

Two UK chemists are launching Emunity – a new RTD health drink to ‘harness the healing and immunity-boosting benefits of nettles.

Emunity x2 plain

The recipe was inspired by one of the co-founders’ grandfathers’ ‘cure-all tea’ from nettles. It is launching in two flavors: Wild Strawberry and Gooseberry.

"We're both passionate about helping people stay healthy, and so developing a drink full of genuine health benefits seemed the obvious thing to do,"​ say the founders.

“Emunity has transformed the humble nettle into a great tasting, refreshing drink loaded with immune boosting health benefits. It is 100% natural, with no artificial ingredients and only 53 calories per can.

“The stinging nettle (Urtica dioica to give it its scientific name), has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It is an ordinary plant with some extraordinary qualities.

“Nettle contains a significant amount of biologically active compounds, particularly carotenoids and polyphenols, that are good for you and your body. Nettle is known to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, it reduces the effects of skin photoaging, helps in fighting the symptoms of hay fever. It has anti-bacterial properties and boosts your immune system.”

Emunity is available via the brand’s website, Amazon, and independent health stores from 8th March in 250ml grab-and-go cans with a RRP £1.49.

Ancient herbal wine becomes modern low-alcohol alternative

Founded by former Miss USA Nana Meriwether, wellness company Cale has launched its first product line: herbal wines.

Cale 9

The company says its mission is to reintroduce the world to Herbal Wine, an ancient technique from the study of Herbalism that Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians practiced.

Cale infuses traditional wine grape varietals like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Merlot with healthful, adaptogenic and functional herbs such as lemon balm, ginseng, rose, reishi, elderberry, stinging nettle, ashwagandha, rhodiola, and more, to make its Herbal Wine.

The first launch, Hibiscus Pinot Noir, is made with locally sourced, GMO-free, 100% natural premium grapes which are fermented to dry and thus low in sugar. The wine contains no artificial flavors.

At 4.5% ABV, Cale Hibiscus Pinot Noir is ‘light yet sophisticated in taste, dry, not sweet, and innate with notes of wildflowers and dark cherries’. It is available for pre-order online as of this week, priced at $25 for 500ml, and will start shipping directly to consumers next month. 

 “As one of very few Black female winemakers in the country, it is my honor to introduce the first iteration of Cale Herbal Wines to market,”​ said Nana Meriwether, founder of Cale.

“Made in Napa by infusing your favorite wine grape varietals with organic herbs, botanicals, and adaptogens, Cale Herbal Wines stand at the intersection of traditional winemaking, the ancient knowledge of Herbalism and the modernistic need for healthy alternatives to our favorite adult beverages.”

Zingi Bear 

Adult soft drink start-up, Zingi Bear, has launched its alcohol-free switchel in the UK: positioned as a grown-up alternative to alcohol.

zingi bear

Based in the Lake District, the apple cider vinegar is inspired by a historic recipe of sparkling water and fresh root ginger, sweetened with organic acacia honey and with Sicilian lemon juice, acerola cherry powder and a touch of sea salt. It contains no concentrates, preservatives, colors or artificial flavors.

Zingi Bear, whose name is a play on the Latin for ginger (zingiber), says: “The tart and effervescent switchel is a thirst-quenching elixir by day, a grown-up alternative to alcohol and a sophisticated mixer by night.”

Laurie Freeman started Zingi Bear after winning a place on the 'Young Innovators' competition with Innovate UK and the Prince's Trust, aimed at helping young people get going in business. “I thought that soft drinks needed to up their game; whilst cutting down on drinking, I was often not able to find a good quality alternative that had the feel of a craft beer brand – so I started playing with the best natural ingredients to create something special,” ​he said.

“It was also important to have the premium look and fun feel of a craft beer, so those looking to abstain from drinking would no longer feel they’re missing out.”

Zingi Bear is available online, from Michelin starred restaurants (notably across Simon Rogan’s restaurants and retail, Daylesford Organic’s Wild Rabbit​ and their outlets around the UK), priced at an RRP of £3.50 per 330ml bottle.

Neon Zebra


PepsiCo is making its first foray into the non-alcoholic cocktail mixers category with the launch of Neon Zebra, aimed at Gen Z and young Millennials (21-34-year olds) who like making cocktails at home, but are looking for more “fun and practical" mixers.

The cocktail mixers category grew 28% in 2020, according to IRI figures, but is perceived by younger drinkers as “having outdated packaging and artificial ingredients," ​​says PepsiCo. It notes that mixers often come in large bottles ideal for a party, but not for small-scale drinks at home.

One can of Neon Zebra combined with 3oz of liquor makes two cocktails: "ideally reaching those consumers who want quality, great taste and convenience, but without the hassle."

Neon Zebra will hit the market this month with a SRP $6.99-$7.99 for six 7.5floz cans. The four products are a margarita mix (for adding tequila); strawberry daiquiri mix (for adding rum); mojito mix (for adding rum) and whiskey sour mix (for adding whiskey).

Leinenkugel's Session Helles


Molson Coors' Leinenkugel brand is drawing on its Germanic roots but with a more sessionable option: with the launch of Session Helles.

The 3.4% ABV beer replaces Leinenkugel's Orange Shandy as a spring/summer seasonal in the US, with a 'moderate citrus and hop flavor with a bready malt character, aroma of toasted bread, crackers and herbal earthy hop notes'.

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