Ready-to-Drink Beverage Sales on the Rise
New, bold flavor-forward characteristics—executed using small batch, artisanal formulation processes—continue to drive consumer interest in several new packaged alcoholic beverages, such as spirit-based canned cocktails.
Several new launches are making inroads within c-store cold sets, including SanTan Spirits and Monaco Cocktails Hard Lemonade. The canned cocktail category is projected to continue a steady increase through 2023, with all retail channel sales of ready-to-drink beverages up 33.6% according to Yahoo Finance.
SanTan partnered with Casa Maestri Tequila and Sun Orchard Beverages to create a line of canned margaritas that offer 100% lime juice sourced locally from Sun Orchard and SanTan’s Triple Sec, a blend of Barley Vodka infused with sweet orange and pure cane sugar.
“Liquid nitrogen is added immediately prior to canning in order to remove all oxygen from the product and keep our craft cocktail as fresh as the day it was shaken,” said Anthony Canecchia, founder of SanTan Brewing Co. and SanTan Spirits.
SanTan interviewed several distilleries in Tequila, Mexico to find the right partner for its margaritas, with the best source emanating from Casa Maestri. “They are also really fun to work with and understand that craft equals quality,” Canecchia said.
At Atomic Brands, the parent company for Monaco Cocktails, the team concluded that hard lemonade is becoming increasingly popular among consumers. “We felt it was an ideal time to debut this latest flavor,” said Don Deubler, CEO of Atomic Brands. “Launching just in time for spring break season but enjoyable year-round, we’re excited for customers to experience this new electric cocktail and incorporate it into their lifestyles.”
Click ahead to read more about five recent launches, including canned spirit, malt, sparkling wine, highballs and more.
The Crush malt beverage line (Island Brands USA) expanded with Crush Strawberry Lemonade, joining Crush Tropical Punch and Crush Lime Margarita flavors. At 10% ABV and available in 16- and 19.2-ounce cans, all products feature natural flavors and are available in singles, 4-packs, and 24-can cases.
Lisa Rinna (Prestige Beverage Group) announces the national launch of her French sparkling wine brand, Rinna Wines. Created in partnership with Rinna and Prestige Beverage Group, Rinna Wines bottles the entertainment icon’s bold, effervescent and unfiltered approach to life, the supplier said. Two light and refreshing expressions include Rinna Wines Brut (SRP of $25) and Rinna Wines Brut Rose (SRP of $25).
Crafthouse Cocktails rolled out new highballs in Gin & Tonic and Vodka Soda, joining a roster of cocktails using small-batch craft spirits rather than a malt base. Both are made with all-natural ingredients and zero excess sugar, in addition to having recyclable packaging. Gin + Tonic (10% ABV) features gin distilled by a craft producer with a balance of four traditional botanicals: juniper, coriander, cardamom and lemon peel. Vodka Soda (7.5% ABV) uses vodka, carbonated seltzer water and a squeeze of real lemon juice. Single cans (375 milliliters) are available for an SRP of $5.99.
Monaco Cocktails expanded its Hard Lemonade line with Monaco Hard Lemonades, originally introduced to the market in August 2022. Strawberry, the newest flavor in the Hard Lemonade lineup, joins Original and Peach, both of which have been successfully selling over the last seven months, the supplier said. Each vodka-based can contains 9% ABV, two shots and is entirely gluten and malt-free. This refreshing canned cocktail combines the classic taste of lemonade with vodka and strawberries.
SanTan Spirits (SanTan Brewing Co.) is partnering with Casa Maestri Tequila and Sun Orchard Beverages to create the new canned margarita line. Beverages are made with authentic tequila, SanTan’s house-made triple sec and Sun Orchard’s natural lime juice to combine south-of-the-border flavor with local ingredients. SanTan Margaritas are 10.5% ABV with no bubbles to give the cocktail connoisseur exactly what they would make themselves at home, the supplier said.