What's hitting the shelves? New product launches: February

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Thatchers launches a blood orange cider to make the most of the trending flavor. Pic: Thatchers
Thatchers launches a blood orange cider to make the most of the trending flavor. Pic: Thatchers

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From Starbucks' first energy drink to cocktails in cartons, we take a look at some of the new products launching around the globe this month.

Starbucks enters energy drink category

Starbucks and PepsiCo’s North American Coffee Partnership JV has launched Starbucks Baya Energy: a RTD beverage using caffeine found naturally in coffee fruit alongside antioxidant vitamin C for a ‘boost of feel-good energy’.

starbucks bava

The new launch is available in three flavors: mango guava, raspberry lime and pineapple passionfruit. Each can contains 90 calories and 160mg of caffeine per 12oz can.

The drinks can currently be found across the US at grocery stores, national retailers, convenience stores and gas stations and online; and will expand to Starbucks stores in March.

According to Mintel, energy drinks are on the rise as a great tasting, convenient and quick source of energy, and the consumer need for energy has only increased during the pandemic,”​ notes Starbucks.

“With total energy drink sales up 9.2% in 2020, an increase of 37.4% from 2015, energy drinks are one of the strongest performing and consistent categories in the wider non-alcoholic beverage industry, largely due to consumer desire for functional ingredients.

Magnesium water


UK-based company OHMG has launched what it claims is the world’s first water to contain a new blend of magnesium that maximises health benefits for consumers.

The magnesium water uses the company's unique formula, containing three different types of magnesium for their breadth of functionality and availability in terms of bioavailability.

This includes Magnesium Citrate for general all-round Magnesium intake to top up depleted Magnesium levels, Magnesium Threonate for its potential brain benefits including mental focus and concentration, and finally, Magnesium Glycinate for stress, anxiety, and improving sleep.

Pill supplements that often contain a version of magnesium which less easily absorbed, said Stuart Walsh, co-founder of OHMG.

“We knew there was clearly a need for this essential mineral, but the problem was that the supplement market was pretty boring and definitely not sexy. So, we entered the drinks market with the belief that OHMG magnesium water will be the new way to increase intake of this essential mineral and improve their day-to-day health and wellbeing.”​​

Each can of OHMG has zero calories, sugars, or sweeteners.

Thatchers Blood Orange 


UK cider company Thatchers has launched a new premium cider, Thatchers Blood Orange.

The drink is expected to appeal to millennials and tap into a wider passion for the blood orange flavor.

“The emerging blood orange flavor is yet to make its mark in the cider category, and therefore Thatchers Blood Orange is expected to recruit a new generation audience who are already buying into the growing popularity of sophisticated orange and blood orange flavored soft drinks, premium spirits and IPAs,”​ says the company.

Thatchers Blood Orange, 4% ABV, is crafted with dessert apples Braeburn, Fuji and Gala, and is described as a ‘vibrant, sparkling cider’.

Thatchers Blood Orange will roll out across the UK next month: supported by a multi-million pound investment, with a TV campaign alongside a digital, broadcast video, billboard, sampling and activation program. Thatchers Blood Orange Cider 500ml bottle has an RRP of £2.30 and the can 4-pack has an RRP of £5.50.

In 2020 the company launched Thatchers Cloudy Lemon, which became the number one NPD launch of the year with its 4 x 440ml can-pack and in just twelve months has grown to be a top 4 fruit cider brand, according to IRI figures.

Mango cocktail in a can

nutrl mango

Anheuser-Busch has launched a new mango flavor for its NÜTRL RTD alcohol brand.

The spirit-based seltzer will add in the mango flavor to its variety pack, joining pineapple, watermelon and raspberry.

Made with real mango juice, NÜTRL’s latest addition is lightly sweet with a burst of mango flavor and a clean, refreshing finish that is perfect for any occasion,” ​says Anheuser-Busch.

“NÜTRL is a tasty, sessionable cocktail in a can that is unpretentious and uncomplicated. Focused on simple ingredients – vodka, seltzer and real fruit juice – NÜTRL offers a delicious taste, proving that hard seltzer doesn’t have to be hard. At just 100 calories and an ABV of 4.5%, NÜTRL is gluten free and includes no added sugar.”

The brand, which launched regionally last year, is also rolling out nationwide across the US this month.

Single serve carton cocktails

Basic Babe Jan 226006-min

Australian drinks business Mandatory Spirits Co (formally Basic Babe) has launched single-serve Boxtails.

Adapting the same formula as the 2L Boxtails, the single-serve cartons are available in three flavors: Mai Tai (pineapple and orange); Passionfruit Martini; and Pink Gin Daiquiri. Each contains 60 calories per serve, with the drinks 99% sugar-free and made from real fruit juice and spirits.

Meanwhile, the brand has also added three new flavors to their signature 2L cask style boxes: orange and pineapple Mai Tai; raspberry and lemon Fruit Tingle and a lime and mint Mojito.

The single-serve Boxtails will be available to purchase from Amazon for RRP $24.95 a six pack and the 2L Boxtails are available to purchase from BWS and Dan Murphys and retail for $29.99 or two for $50.

The ‘perfect serve’


The Artisan Drinks Co will launch its ‘perfect serve’ 200ml cans next month.

While 200ml is the recommended serving of a mixer to 50ml of spirit, the UK company says it is first to launch mixer cans in this size.

Creating the perfect drink at home can be challenging. With mixers available in everything from 150ml cans to 1 litre bottles, it’s hard to know how much you should be using.” ​Comments Co-founder of Artisan Drinks and award-winning mixologist and bar owner, Mikey Enright.

“Most 150ml cans on the market are a hangover from airline demand. By choosing to create the perfect serve measure over our own ease, our 200ml cans simplify the process for shoppers. We’ve fortunately avoided the current supply chain and production issues facing many of our industry colleagues, meaning we can supply retailers almost straight away, allowing them to quickly fulfil their customers’ needs.”

The initial five flavors are Classic London Tonic; Skinny London Tonic; Pink Citrus Tonic; Amalfi Lime Tonic; and Fiery Ginger Beer.

The cans will be launched in Ocado beginning of February in 6 packs, RRP £4.50. They will also be available in 24 packs at independent retailers and Amazon.

Coca-Cola with Coffee Mocha

coca cola mocha

Coca-Cola has released Coca-Cola with Coffee Mocha in the US: joining the existing Dark Blend, Vanilla, Caramel and Vanilla Zero Sugar innovations in the RTD coffee aisle.

The hybrid cola-coffee innovation was launched in January 2021 as a drink that ‘sips like a Coke and finishes like a coffee’.

Vanilla has been the top-selling Coca‑Cola with Coffee SKU to date, reflecting consumers’ desires for indulgent flavors, noted Brandan Strickland, brand director, Coca-Cola Trademark. “As we thought about how to optimize our current offering and give consumers even more of what they want, Mocha emerged as a no-brainer.

“It’s the No. 1 flavor in the RTD coffee category, and we’re confident the amazing formula we’ve developed will be a home run with existing fans of the brand as well as those who have not yet given it a try.” 

Budweiser energy drink


AB InBev has launched an energy drink in India under the Budweiser brand, called Budweiser Beats.

The non-alcoholic drink contains natural caffeine and B-vitamins and is packaged in 250ml cans.

“Our foray into the energy drink category is a natural progression, after the launch of our non-alcohol beers, Budweiser 0.0, Hoegaarden 0.0 and Hoegaarden Rosée,” says the company.

“With Budweiser Beats, AB InBev India aims to disrupt an otherwise established but severely underpenetrated category to meet evolving consumer preferences.

“Furthermore, as the Indian consumer’s palate and preferences expand, energy drinks are a logical expansion for the brand in a country where the youth are ready to try new beverages.”

Celebration of Ulysses

writers tears

Writers’ Tears, a super-premium Irish whiskey, will release a special, limited edition, collector’s bottling of its Writers’ Tears - Copper Pot expression to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the 1922 publication of James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses.

Writers’ Tears - Copper Pot is a rare blend of Single Pot Still and Single Malt whiskeys. It is inspired by the golden era of Irish whiskey, pot still distillation and the creative thinkers and artists that define Irish culture, particularly those of the 19th​ and 20th​ centuries.

Writers’ Tears will undertake a year-long program of events, in-person and online, where patrons of the Irish whiskey can join with others in celebrating the novel.

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