California’s SoGood Sake debut Junmai Daiginjo is launching in the UK.
SoGood claims to be the only premium sake house in the US to grow and use its own rice: the company is using Yamada Nishiki rice grown in the Sacramento Valley to make Junmai Daigingo. The rice is mixed with spring water from the Cascade Mountain Range to create the final product.
The sake has been described as presenting with notes of citrus, melon, honey and apple.
“Sake has traditionally been linked to rice farming in Japan. Yet thanks to California’s climate, we have been able to produce a premium sake that rivals its Asian counterparts,” said SoGood sake co-founder Ken LaGrande.
Beaujolais Nouveau launches in South Korea
Dutch company IPL Brands BV, known for its premium sparkling wines, has released “Beaujolais Nouveau” in the South Korean market.
Beaujolais Nouveau is a fruity, red wine made from Gamay grapes grown in the regions of Beaujolais and Beaujolais Village, north of Lyon (France). Beaujolais Nouveau belongs to the category “vin de primeur”, which are young wines that are consumed in the same year they are made. It was initially used to celebrate the end of the harvest.
Although its popularity spread globally from the 1960s and had reached North America and Asia by the 1990s, the style has since been in decline.
However, IPL Brands believes it can bring Beaujolais back with 200ml wine cans from Ardagh Metal Packaging: which the packaging specialist describes as ‘the perfect packaging for freight transport – shatterproof, lightweight and stackable – easy to handle making optimal use of space during transit.’
The Coconut Collab
British plant-based dairy maker The Coconut Collab is expanding into barista-style milk alternatives with the launch of M!LK.
The goal is to ‘set a new standard’ for plant-based milk, specifically for taste and quality.
M!LK is designed to froth ‘fantastically’, not to split when warmed, and to not alter the taste profile of tea.
“We know that one in three Brits are drinking plant-based milk, however, we also know that almost every variant currently available on supermarket shelves influence the taste profile of the end product – whether this is a cup of tea or a bowl of cereal. That is until now: with M!LK offering our customers an unrivalled and uncompromising plant-based milk alternative that we can’t wait for them to try.”
UK food and supplements brand Hunter & Gather is expanding into collagen creamers for a ‘radiant boost’ for skin, hair and nails, as well as to support joint, bone and gut health.
The Collagen Creamers products are available in two flavors – raw cacao and vanilla – and are made with Bovine Collagen Peptides and natural ingredients.
Meanwhile, Hunter & Gather is launching an MCT ‘Thrive’ Powder to support brain health and energy, which can be stirred into drinks.
The Collagen Creamers are available in a 300g recyclable pouch at an RRP of £30. The MCT Thrive Powder also has an RRP of £30, for a 250g recyclable pouch.
Kraken Caribbean Punch
Following the launch of Kraken Black Mojito last summer, Australian canned cocktail brand Kraken is introducing Caribbean Punch.
The 5.5% ABV drink is described as ‘an ultimate refreshing twist on the classic tropical punch, immersing the taste of Kraken’s legendary signature Black Spiced Rum mingled with the natural topical flavors of pineapple, mango and coconut: topped with soda water for a crisp clean finish.
A four pack of 330ml cans has a RRP of $29.
Kraken Caribbean Punch from Kraken Black Spiced Rum expands the range of premixed products available in Australia: which includes Black Mojito, Black Spiced Rum and Cola; and Black Spiced Rum & Dry.
Rakia comes to the US
RÄK Spirits has made its debut in the US: bringing the European spirit rakia to Americans.
The fruit brandy rakia traditionally hails from the Balkans. RÄK Spirits founder Karina Saranovic – a first-generation American with Montenegrin-Polish parents – believes RÄK’s slightly lower ABV (33% ABV) will make it popular in the US.
The spirit is fruit-based, vegan, gluten-free, carb-free, and grain-free with no added sugars or artificial flavorings. It can be drunk neat or in cocktails.
Flor de Caña launches Eco Rum
Flor de Caña, the world’s first Carbon Neutral and Fair Trade USA certified spirit, introduces its latest innovation: Flor de Caña Eco Rum, a 15 year old sustainably crafted ultra-premium rum that is presented in a bottle made with recycled glass and a label made from bagasse fiber.
This rum is naturally aged in bourbon barrels at the base of a tropical volcano, without sugar or artificial ingredients, and distilled with 100% renewable energy.
Flor de Caña Eco Rum is available nationwide in the US. The drink has a ‘captivating dark mahogany color [and] entices with aromas of prunes and tropical fruits, while delighting the palate with flavors of caramelized toffee and wood.’
As part of the launch of Flor de Caña Eco Rum, the brand is furthering its partnership with environmental non-profit One Tree Planted to plant one million trees by 2025. The brand has offered free education to workers and their families since 1913 and free health services since 1958. It has planted 50,000 trees annually since 2005 and captures and recycles all CO2 emissions during the fermentation process.
The brand was certified as carbon-neutral in 2020 by The Carbon Trust in the UK.
Coffee with regenerative agriculture label
The world's first coffee with a regenerative agriculture label is being distributed globally by the Italian brand Illy Caffè, in partnership with the Cerrado Coffee Growers Federation.
With notes of intense caramel, the product will be available in 50 countries this year and is expected to reach 140 by 2024.
The coffee will be sold in 250 grams cans, in both ground and grain versions.
Fernando Beloni, producer and President of the Cerrado Coffee Growers Cooperative (Expocacer), said: "This launch is a turning point for us. As well as being the first product with a regenerative label and designation of origin to go into retail, it will be distributed by Illy Caffè, which is a major company and very renowned in the sector. Expocacer currently has 5,500 hectares of regenerative coffee, and we are working to certify even more cooperative members.”
The grains of "Arabica Selection Brasile Cerrado Mineiro", the name given to the product, have regenerative certification from Regenagri, a global organization that aims to guarantee the health and preservation of the soil, with certification from the British Control Union. The label proves that has been an increase in organic matter in the soil, improvement in biodiversity, rebalancing of the ecosystem's natural functions, sequestration of atmospheric CO² and an increase in the water, carbon and nutrient cycles.
According to the Global Consumer Insights Pulse survey, carried out in 25 countries by PwC, ESG concerns now influence the purchasing decisions of half of all consumers.
Regenerative coffee farming adopts practices that aim to preserve soil health, increase biodiversity, protect water resources and promote the resilience of agricultural systems. Among the advantages of regenerative practices are preservation of flora and fauna, cost savings, reduced pollution, higher coffee quality, greater resistance to climate change and reduced deforestation.