What's hitting the shelves? New beverage launches - from RTD cocktails to sports drinks

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

New beverage launches: from vodka cocktails to sports drinks

Related tags Npd Vodka New product development Wine Rum

We take a look at some of the new beverages launching around the globe.

Absolut Cocktails

absolut cocktails

Absolut vodka is entering the ready-to-serve category with its Absolut Cocktails line: featuring Vodka Mojito and Raspberry Lemonade.

These 15% ABV cocktails contain five servings a bottle for sharing or enjoying at home, on the rocks or chilled neat.

Pernod Ricard's Absolut Ready-to-Serve Cocktails are available now in 750ml bottles for an SRP of $18.99 at select retailers in the US.

The launch of Absolut Cocktails follows the launch of RTD alcohol Absolut Vodka and Sprite in the UK earlier this month.

Bud Light Super Bowl bottles

bud light kansas city

Bud Light has created custom, limited edition Bud Light championship bottles to celebrate the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl win.

The aluminum championship bottles launched along the parade route last week; and are now rolling out onto shelves at participating retailers.

BrewDog tequila

BrewDog Distilling Co. has launched Casa Rayos Tequila: a spirits made from 100% agave in partnership with Orendain family (the third oldest tequila distilling family in the town of tequila, Mexico).

brewdog tequila

BrewDog Distilling Co’s new CEO, Martin Dickie (also co-founder of BrewDog) and MD, Steven Kersley worked closely with the Orendain family to create a flavorful Blanco tequila, a blend of over 12 varieties from both copper pot and stainless steel distillations.

Casa Rayos is ‘loaded with lime and orange citrus zest, underpinned by spicy cracked black pepper, pink peppercorn, and an earthy component typical of the region in which the agave has been grown’.

The name is born from the ‘lucky strike’, a Mexican myth that dictates a lightning bolt once hit an agave plant and fermented the juices inside.

“We’ve long looked on with jealousy at the burgeoning tequila category, and with growing frustration, because we couldn’t participate by creating some agave magic at our distillery in Scotland,” said Kersley.

“With a clear vision of the style of tequila we wanted to create we didn’t want to wait any longer so set off to find the spirit we wanted to bottle. The partnership with Orendain made this possible. They distil some of the best tequila in Mexico and it was a dream for us to collaborate on creating this one of a kind tequila, Casa Rayos.”

BrewDog intends to continue its journey in the tequila category by exploring the reposado and añejo subcategories.

Casa Rayos tequila is priced at a RRP £40 and available to purchase from BrewDog Bars in the UK.

Sparkling Ice Starburst

sparkling ice starburst

Talking Rain Beverage Company’s Sparkling Ice brand is launching Sparkling Ice Starburst: a new line of flavors based on the Starburst fruit chew candy flavors.

Talking Rain’s director of new product development, Tatyana Osipovs, said: “Our Sparkling Ice product development team knew Sparkling Ice STARBURST would bring a huge level of excitement to consumers with this flavorful collaboration.

“We spent months recreating that creamy, candy mouthfeel in addition to capturing all flavors of the STARBURST fruit chew candies in the Sparkling Ice beverage. Now our fans can enjoy the full-flavored fun of these candy flavors in our delicious drink with zero sugar!”

The new line of STARBURST-inspired Sparkling Ice comes in the candy’s four original flavors – cherry, lemon, orange, and strawberry. It will be available online via Amazon starting March 4. It also began arriving at select retailers in late January and will continue rolling out across the US throughout the spring.

Half-size rum bottles

lugger rum

The UK’s Lyme Bay Winery is launching its Jack Ratt Lugger Rum portfolio in a new half-sized (35cl) long island shaped bottle.

The winery identifies a trend towards smaller spirits formats in the market, as consumers seek out lower price points and greater variety in their spirits choices. Recognising that many customers prefer the flexibility of smaller bottle sizes and are hesitant to commit to full 70cl bottles due to the abundance of competing brands and spirits in both on and off-trade channels, Lyme Bay Winery aims to better align with their preferences.

The smaller bottle also gives the winery more scope to tap into the gifting market.

Both Jack Ratt Lugger Golden Rum and the Jack Ratt Lugger Spiced Rum (40% ABV) will be available in the 35cl format. A bottle retails at £19.99.

Lucozade launches three blue drinks

lucozade blue

UK sports and energy brand Lucozade is launching a trio of blue drinks: Lucozade Sport Blue Force, Lucozade Energy Blue Burst and Lucozade Alert Blue Rush.

The launch of ‘Blucozade’ is the first time that all three Lucozade sub-brands will appear side-by-side in a single launch: with offerings across function, flavor and format.

The existing (non-blue) drink Lucozade Alert (a high caffeine energy drink launched in 2022) is experiencing 31.4% YOY growth, Lucozade Energy is growing 6.5%, and Lucozade Sport is up 17.8%.

Shoppers want excitement and surprise from their soft drink purchases, and the introduction of Blucozade is designed to give retailers and opportunity to create an eye-catching display for shoppers, says brand owner Suntory. The launch is designed to drive up both purchase frequency and overall consumption within the Lucozade portfolio.

“Blucozade is the biggest Lucozade launch ever, and the feedback we’ve had when bringing this to consumers and retailers alike has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Elise Seibold, Marketing Director at Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I.

“Uniting our Sport, Energy and Alert brands together for the first time ever is a huge step change in the way we market Lucozade, with even more to come this year.”

Niche Cocktails extends range with two new mixes

niche cocktails strawberry daiquiri

UK premium RTD cocktail brand, Niche Cocktails, is launching two new flavors: Strawberry Daiquiri and Negroni.

“These two launches add exciting new flavor profiles to our range of premium cocktails,” comments CEO of Niche Cocktails, Rob Breakwell. “Wild Strawberry Daiquiri is our twist on the Cuban classic and is perfect for those that enjoy a fruity, refreshing drink on long summer days, whilst our Negroni is a unique blend of bold and complex flavors for the more adventurous cocktail drinker.”

Strawberry Daiquiri is a delicate balance of rum, fresh lime, syrup and strawberries: mixed with rum crafted by The English Distillery.

Meanwhile, Suffolk brewer and distiller, Adnams, is the exclusive partner for Niche’s gin cocktails, and its Copper House gin will form the basis of the new Negroni: a perfect blend of dry gin, sweet vermouth and Campari.

Niche Cocktail’s range of cocktails that includes Manuka Honey Whisky Sour, Raspberry Cosmo, Mocha Martini and Pink Grapefruit Gin Fizz. 

Strawberry Daiquiri (250ml, 8% ABV) and Negroni (150ml, 14% ABV) are available now to all retailers and the ontrade, RSP £3.99-£4.25.

Mandarin juice

coldpress mandarin

UK HPP juice brand Coldpress is launching a 750ml mandarin juice made with Spanish mandarins.

With the orange juice category under pressure from short supply of the fruit,​ Coldpress has broadened its citrus fruit horizons and champions the ‘deliciously distinct sweetness’ of mandarins.

Founder Andrew Gibb said: “The pioneering work of our HPP facility in Spain, coupled with access to incredible local fruit, means that our fresh tasting sweet mandarin really pops! It’s also worth noting that mandarins are a fantastic, low calorie winter fruit, jam-packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals.

“Alongside the all-important vitamin C, which ably supports one’s daily immune system function, mandarins contain enviable quotas of two antioxidant phytochemicals (beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin) that your body turns to vitamin A, which supports good vision, a healthy immune system and positive growth development.”

The juice is also fortified with vitamins B, D and E.

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