As the summer merchandising season approaches, ready-to-drink alcohol is expected to remain a popular choice as alcohol continues to appear in shoppers’ online baskets.
Ready-to-drink (RTD) canned cocktails, already trending north pre-pandemic, grew 126% year over year in 2021, according to NielsenIQ data. Although this market still only accounts for about 3% of spirits volume in the U.S., it had been growing by 50% between 2019 and 2020. RTD offerings also see a boost around the warmer months as consumers look for portable, easy-to-consume options for summer gatherings and events, which will begin heating up soon.
Nostalgia is fueling some of the new innovations. Mike’s Hard Lemonade revived the 1990s with the introduction of Mike’s Hard Freeze, a collection of four “throwback” flavors. In its research, the supplier states that “more than 70% of consumers crave nostalgic flavors, reminding them of simpler times and carefree days.”
Click ahead to learn more about Mike’s Hard Freeze and for a preview of other new alcohol releases.
Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer Essential Collection
Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer introduced its Essential Collection, which features organic seltzers made with real fruit juice and organic coconut water. Four flavors are available: Blueberry Watermelon, Strawberry Guava, Berry Hibiscus and Kiwi Lime. The beverages have 90 calories and zero added sugar.
Sparkling Ice Spiked Cocktails
Occasionally, beverage brands will morph into new territory, and one that took the plunge is Talking Rain Beverage Co. The company recently introduced Sparkling Ice Spiked Cocktails. The hard seltzers come in Strawberry Margarita and Mango Mojito flavors. Sparkling Ice Spiked Cocktails have an ABV of 6%, zero sugar and 120 calories per 12-ounce slim can. A 12-can variety pack is available and includes both flavors.
Bud Light Seltzer Cocktail Hour variety pack
The new limited-edition Bud Light Seltzer Cocktail Hour variety pack is touted as the “Loudest Flavors Ever.” The cocktail-inspired seltzers offer a twist on classic cocktails and come in Tropical Punch, Lime Margarita, Watermelon Mojito and Strawberry Daiquiri flavors. In late-May, Bud Light Seltzer will shake things up with its Classic Variety pack in two new flavors: Watermelon and Tangerine.
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Seltzer
Two Trees Beverage Co.’s Bourbon Barrel-Aged Seltzer is a malt-based, wood-crafted seltzer available this spring in six-packs of 12-ounce cans. The drink has an oak-forward nose, followed by sweet and spicy notes; a grain profile of corn, wheat and pilsner give the drink a satiny finish with hints of vanilla and maple. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Seltzer has a 5.5% ABV.
Cooloo Cocktail Pops
Made using natural flavors, pure cane sugar and real spirits, Cooloo Cocktail Pops use a proprietary formula to give the frozen cocktail a smooth sorbet-like texture, even when frozen. Varieties include Mai Tai, Pina Colada, Paloma, Gin & Tonic and Cosmo. Each 100-mL, 5% ABV cocktail pop is packaged in grab-and-go canisters containing 12 pops (SRP range of $18.99 to $23.99).
Hard Rock RTDs
Hard Rock International debuted Hard Rock RTDs, which join its sister Hard Rock Hard Seltzers at retail. Hard Rock RTDs come in Margarita, Mojito and Moscow Mule flavors and are inspired by the same offerings mixed at Hard Rock’s cafes, hotel and casinos. At 8% ABV in 12-ounce cans, Hard Rock RTDs come in single-flavor four-packs (SRP $12.99) and mixed six-packs, containing two of each flavor (SRP $19.99).
Mike’s Hard Freeze
Mike’s Hard Lemonade rolled out a collection of four throwback flavors with Mike’s Hard Freeze in 12-ounce can variety packs. The slushy-inspired flavors include Blue, Red, White and Pink Freeze. Each has a 5% ABV per 12-ounce can. Blue Freeze and Red Freeze flavors are also available in 23.5-ounce single-serve cans.
The official cerveza sponsor of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, Estrella Jalisco (Anheuser-Busch LLC) introduced a special-edition Dodgers Michelada available in ready-to-drink 25-ounce cans. Balancing sweet, savory and spicy notes, Estrella Jalisco celebrates the bold, proud and courageous, the supplier said. The 25-ounce cans are available at Dodgers Market and the greater Los Angeles area.
Unicorn Rose Bubbles
14 Hands added a 750-mL package to its Unicorn Rose Bubbles lineup. It also teamed up with Blippar to create a cutting-edge augmented reality gaming experience for consumers. 14 Hands Unicorn Rose Bubbles (SRP $15) is sourced from Washington. The light rose is slightly effervescent with delicate fruit flavors and a juicy crisp finish, the company says. 14 Hands also comes in a 375-mL can for an SRP of $6.