7 NACS Show Beverage Product Trends

Beer

Henry's Hard Soda

New beer products underscored flavor behind the brew. MillerCoors, Chicago, offered samples of the newest addition to its Henry’s Hard Soda lineup--a grape flavor (pictured above) that joins orange, ginger ale and cherry. Similarly, Anheuser-Busch added sweet tea and cream soda to its Best Damn hard-soda line. Other AB rollouts included Grape-a-Rita becoming a permanent member of the Bud Light Lime-a-Rita line and several recent craft beers added through acquisitions in the past year. Pabst’s Not Your Father’s hard-soda line also added new flavors, including Not Your Father’s Vanilla Cream Ale and Not Your Mom’s Strawberry Rhubarb. Constellation Brands took its flavors in another direction, adding a second style to its Modelo Chelada line called Chelada Tamarindo Picante.

Wine

Dark Horse Rose

Wine in convenience stores is decidedly rose these days. That was evident in new products from E. & J. Gallo with Dark Horse Rose (pictured above) and Constellation Brand’s Arbor Mist, which has added a rose to its line of sweet wines. New exhibitor One87ml Wine & Cocktails, meanwhile, displayed its new line of, well, 187-mL single-serve wines and cocktails in several flavors and varieties.

Iced tea

Snapple iced tea

New teas and new tea flavors made a splash from vendors big and small. Dr Pepper Snapple Group unveiled new Snapple Mango Tea (pictured above), while Coca-Cola’s Gold Peak introduced new Slightly Sweet and Green Tea flavors. Smaller tea brands on the show floor included Moonshine Sweet Tea, C+Swiss Hemp Ice Tea, Splurge and Fruve, while longtime tea-leaf supplier Red Diamond unveiled its first ready-to-drink packaged tea. And Nestle Waters North America introduced an entirely reformulated and repackaged Nestea brand that underscores healthfulness and drinkability.

Cold-brew coffee

Dunkin Donut Cold Brew

Several packaged-beverage makers jumped on the cold-brew-coffee trend with varieties introduced on the NACS Show floor. These include Califia’s Black Label Cold Brew, High Brew Protein Cappuccino, Bowery Coffee Co., La Colombe, Stok from WhiteWave, Java House, Shamrock Farms Cold Brew, Steep 18 and Dunkin Donuts Cold Brew through Coca-Cola Co.

Energy drinks

Red Bull Editions

The energy-drink category continues to innovate with new flavors, brands and crossover beverages, led by Red Bull’s new sugar-free Purple and Lime “editions,” a new LTO Summer Edition (grapefruit twist) for 2017 and this year’s summer edition (Kiwi Apple) becoming a permanent addition (see photo above). Other brands showcased included Celsius (new packaging), Tweaker, ZumXR, Zymbom (now in Mixed Berry), Xyience (relaunch), +Red Elixir, Uptime Energy, Splendid Drinks’ 28 Black, Bang (in four new flavors) and Bawls (now available in cans). Monster Energy let its new Mutant Super Soda lead its innovation display (see CSD slide next).

CSDs

Monster Mutant

Multiple new carbonated-soft-drink flavors from Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo were overshadowed by Monster’s rollout of its Mutant Super Soda (pictured above). The first product from the energy-drink maker to come in a PET bottle, Mutant—available in green and red—is squarely aimed at Mountain Dew drinkers. Meanwhile, PepsiCo added some fuel to its own Mountain Dew lineup with the new Mtn Dew Spike Raspberry Lemonade, Mtn Dew White Label, Mtn Dew Green Label and Kickstart Mango Lime. It also will introduce Mist Twst Lemon Lemon in March 2017. Coca-Cola’s new CSD additions include Sprite Cherry and Cherry Zero, and Fanta Fruit Punch and Berry flavors.

Bottled water

Sparkling Ice

Bottled water is increasingly being flavored, enhanced and filled with bubbles as manufacturers look to capture a bigger piece of the category. In enhanced/flavored waters, there were Protein2O, Avitae Caffeine Water, Trimino Protein Water, Hydrive Energy Water (repackage/relaunch), Neuro Trim (new flavor), Polar Sparkling Frost + Caffeine and vitaminwater (new flavors, use states). And in sparkling, innovation included Perrier (in cans), Alova (new import), Sparkling Ice (Black Cherry and Essence, pictured above), Dasani Sparkling (Lime & Berry), Bai Bubbles and Polar (seasonal seltzer flavors).