What's hitting the shelves? New beverage launches

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Mandatory Spirit Co. launches a BIB vodka. Pic: Mandatory Spirit Co.
Mandatory Spirit Co. launches a BIB vodka. Pic: Mandatory Spirit Co.

Related tags Npd Vodka

From hard tea to bag-in-box vodka, we take a look at some of the latest beverage launches around the globe.

Twisted Tea Extreme

twisted tea extreme

Boston Beer Company’s hard iced tea brand Twisted Tea is testing two new flavors in a higher 8% ABV format: named Twisted Tea Extreme.

The hard tea is made with real brewed tea and no carbonation. It comes in Lemon and Blue Razz flavors, packaged in 16oz and 24oz single serve cans.

Twisted Tea Extreme debuts in five core markets – Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Vermont – to help the brands assess the higher-ABV space before expanding elsewhere.

Vodka in bag-in-box

Mandatory Spirit Co Vodka inset

Brisbane-based Mandatory Spirit Co. has announced a new range of Australian-made flavored vodkas packaged in one liter bag-in-boxes.

The new packaging cuts the carbon footprint by eight times compared to glass bottles.

"With Aussies increasingly looking for grab-and-go alcohol products to take to parties or gatherings with friends and family, packaging that is easy to open, dispense, and store is high on the consumer’s wish list," says the brand.

The boxed vodka comes in three flavors: Luscious Strawberry Vodka; Raspberry Vodka; and Cherry Bliss Vodka.

The vodkas are available from Dan Murphy's stores nationwide for $60.99.

Mezcal launch in Canada

desolas mezcal

Desolas Mezcal is expanding its mezcal brand into Canada: marking its first market outside the US.

Launched in 2020, the mezcal comes from the Salmiana Agave in San Luis Potosi, Mexico: ‘creating a distinct mezcal and flavor profile with low smoke and botanical and fresh aroma’ in a premium spirit ‘that boasts a smooth and balanced flavor with notes of citrus, black pepper and an elegant finish of vanilla.’

Desolas Mezcal will be distributed in Canada by Renaissance Wine Merchants.

Phocus pineapple

phocus pineapple

US mental acuity beverage Phocus is expanding its partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe via an exclusive release of a new pineapple flavor in stores and online. 

Phocus pairs 75mg caffeine with 75mg L-Theanine.

“PHOCUS was conceived in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky with one goal in mind: fueling creativity,” said Grammy-nominated artist and entrepreneur Jack Harlow, Co-Owner and Chief Creative Officer of Phocus.

“Only five ingredients were needed to create our clean and straightforward beverage. One of those ingredients is L-Theanine, an amino acid that can support calm and alertness in the mind of any artist looking to hone in on the story they want to tell,” said Harlow.

“The partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe continues Phocus’ desire to drive awareness around fueling creativity. To captivate consumers with a one-of-a-kind offering, the pineapple Phocus is exclusively available in The Vitamin Shoppe stores and online through September 2023, alongside the flagship Orange Phocus.”

Veteran beverage entrepreneurs launch cannabis-infused drinks

Zenith can small (1)

A team of beverage experts totaling close to 100 years of experience have announced their entrance into the cannabis industry with the launch of Massachusetts-based The Drinkable Company.

Led by industry veterans Mark Mahoney and Lee Brody, The Drinkable Company produces ‘high-quality cannabis infused beverages meticulously created to deliver exceptional taste, efficacy, and approachability.’

The Drinkable Company’s available product line consist of cannabis infused Zenith Cold Brew Coffee, Tiger Tea, and Swivel Craft Soda. Manufactured with fast-acting and water-soluble emulsion technology, each beverage contains 5mg of full spectrum cannabis oil and provides an early onset of effects, at a controlled pace, says the company.

“As an innovator in the beverage space, the rise of the cannabis beverage market intrigued me enough to know I wanted to bring something to the table, but in a new and strategic way,” said Mark Mahoney, Principal and Founder of The Drinkable Company. “We saw seltzers launching rapidly, but not all consumers want a seltzer. To bring something different and fresh, we curated a variety of beverages that consumers can sip on during any occasion – whether it be for an energy boost, to refocus, or to chill, we have you covered!”

Zenith Cold Brew Coffee offers a ‘fusion of locally roasted coffee, tantalizing flavors, accompanied with cannabis makes for a perfect ‘pick me up’ at any point of the day’.

Tiger Tea: Cannabis Infused Real Tea is made with freshly brewed, real green tea, with the lightly sweetened and antioxidant rich beverage leaving consumers with a ‘refreshing, earthy sensation’. Tiger Tea also comes in two varieties including strawberry, along with the combination of wild berry and hibiscus.

Swivel Cannabis Infused Craft Soda is available in four varieties: cola, diet cola, orange, and root beer – described as low-calorie with less sugar than most craft sodas.

All beverages produced by The Drinkable Company contain 5mg of THC per 12 ounce can and are crafted with fresh, all-natural ingredients. Zenith, Tiger Tea, and Swivel are now available in select retailers in both Massachusetts and Maine.

New herbal teas

rishi tea

Rishi Tea & Botanicals are introducing four new herbal teas for retail in the US this month.

The new botanical flavor blends are Bergamot Rose, Cinnamon Tulsi Spice, Green Mountain Tea and Pink Lemon Ginger and all are caffeine-free.

They will be available in both sachets and loose leaf via the company's website, Amazon and at select retailers. Bergamot Rose will be available exclusively at Whole Foods.

Cameron Diaz' wine brand

cameron diaz wine

Avaline, the organic wine brand by Cameron Diaz and Katherine Power, has officially launched in all Whole Foods Market stores across the US.

This milestone new distribution kicks off with a summer program featuring the brand’s best-selling Rosé wine, which is now ranked the #4 ultra premium rosé nationally (CYTD ending 7/15/2023, IRI MULO, SPINS Natural Enhanced, and Nielsen Combined Liquor). Following the summer program, Whole Foods Market will pick up several of the brand’s items regionally including the Rosé, White, and Sparkling wines. 

The addition of over 500 Whole Foods Market stores puts Avaline in over 10,000 stores in the US, up 45% from Q3 last year. Other major wins year-to-date include expanded distribution in Kroger, Target, and Total Wine & More. 

Laphroaig unveils packaging redesign

Laphroaig 10YO on Islay 1

Scotch whisky Laphroaig has unveiled a refreshed, more sustainable design to its packaging in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of each bottle.

Beam Suntory says the new packaging will reduce the brand’s carbon emissions by 30%, and supports its Proof Positive sustainability strategy and long-term commitments to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its value chain by 2040. 

The new packaging design retains the recognisable green bottle with distinctive black and white label but replaces the plastic bar top with a beech wood alternative, as well as switching out the secondary packaging tube for a more recycling-friendly carton.

The new packaging will result in a reduction of 1,184.74 tons of greenhouse gases per year – equivalent to growing 30,711 saplings over ten years – a significant contribution to the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The new carton will also introduce additional quality cues on pack, including embossed Laphroaig lettering on the side as a nod to the brand’s Islay distillery. Further inspiration came from the brand archive, resulting in a refreshed wordmark and the hand-crafted distillery address on the front of pack. 

In addition to its new packaging, Laphroaig will also be renaming ‘Select’ to ‘Oak Select’ to reflect the role of casks in the flavour profile of the whisky. Oak Select will continue to be comprised of spirit taken from five different types of oak cask that are then blended to create the final expression. There will be no change to the whisky itself.

Santo Spirits unveils packaging refresh for agave spirits portfolio


Coinciding with the launch of the company’s first Añejo expression, Santo Spirits unveils new packaging for their core line of agave spirits from ‘tequila visionary’ Sammy Hagar and partner Guy Fieri.

This marks the first major packaging refresh since the brand launched in 2017.

Included in the update are 100% additive-free Santo Tequila Blanco ($44.99), Santo Tequila Reposado ($49.99) and Santo Tequila Añejo ($74.99). The packaging for Santo Tequila Mezquila ($59.99) – the brand’s unique Mezcal/Tequila blend – has also been redesigned. Developed by long-time Hagar creative collaborator Todd Gallopo and Meat and Potatoes of Los Angeles, the refresh includes an all-new custom glass bottle, accompanying label and closure.

“Our packaging refresh for the core line of Santo agave spirits, along with the recent launch of Santo Tequila Añejo, serves as the kicking-off point for our broader business strategy to further premiumize the brand to match the exceptionally high-quality of our liquid,” said Dan Butkus, President and CEO of Santo Spirits. “It was critical that we have the best calling card possible as our five-year growth strategy shifts into high gear and we work closely with our distributor partners to increase our on- and off-premise presence both in the U.S. and internationally.”

Replacing the former rectangular painted bottle is a new, square clear bottle, which allows for a stronger shelf presence and more branding real estate, including ornate embossed flourishes and brand marks on one side of the bottle, lending a look of traditional Mexican tile. Those with keen eyes will notice several Easter egg surprises, like the familiar Santo cross pattern under the base of the bottle, serving as a clever non-slip grip. Along the bottle neck, which has been designed for an easier grip, an embossed Santo cross points north to a gold rim “halo” nestled under the wood enclosure with synthetic cork stopper.

The debossed area traversing three sides of the glass holds the updated label that now wraps the bottle and includes Hagar’s and Fieri’s signatures on the side. The label itself, which still features the stylish Santo logo, has been upgraded from acetate to paper to decrease glare and improve visibility and readability, particularly on a backbar.

All Santo Spirits products are available nationwide in the US as well as in Mexico, Canada, Japan, South Africa, the Philippines, and online.

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