Lifting Spirits With 6 FMB, Hard Beverage Releases

Lifting Spirits

While packaged beer and wine sales have taken a hit, several new spirits have come to the rescue with their launch into the alcoholic beverage convenience channel.

Packaged beer dollars fell 1% while table wine dropped 5.4%, and sparkling wine/champagne fell 4.3%, according to IRI.

Examining c-store beer activity within the top 10 SKUs, category highlights include Modelo Especial (posting an 18.6% dollar increase), Michelob Ultra (7.9%) and Corona Extra (8.6%). Outside the top 10, Twisted Tea Original gained 20.1% in dollars during the year period, IRI revealed.

Dollar sales for the packaged spirits segment increased 9.1% while case units shot up 12.7%, reflecting total U.S. convenience channel activity for a 52-week period ending June 12, 2022, according to data from Chicago-based IRI Global.

Pacesetters within the top 10 flavored malt beverage and packaged cocktail SKUs include Fireball Canadian, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Buzzballz Premixed Cocktails, with the latter driving dollar growth an impressive 78.8% for the year. Outside the top 10, High Noon Seltzer Centric (E. & J. Gallo Winery) and Monoco Premixed Cocktails (Atomic Brands), saw dollar sales increase 179.4% and 24.9%, respectively.

Click ahead for a review of six seasonal-friendly releases between late April and early July that encompass innovation spanning cocktails, hard seltzers, fruit and hard juices.

Sauza debuted its Sauza Agave Cocktails, which include four ready-to-drink, Mexican-inspired cocktails crafted with agave nectar and real fruit flavor. Offering tastes embodying the manufacturer’s Mexican roots, flavors include Lime Crush, Tropical Twist, Strawberry Breeze and Black Cherry Smash. The beverages are packaged in 12-can variety packs (SRP $17.99), single flavor 6-packs of Lime Crush and Tropical Twist (SRP $9.99), and 24-ounce single cans (SRP $3.49) of Lime Crush and Tropical Twist. Each flavor contains 8% ABV.

Sparkling Hawaiian Rum Canned Cocktails join Koloa Rum’s ready-to-drink cocktail line. The canned cocktails feature all-natural Hawaiian flavors blended with premium Kauai white rum made from pure cane sugar and rainwater from Mt. Waialeale. The tropical flavored cocktails offer four flavors: Guava, Pineapple, Mango and Coconut—all packaged in a convenient 4-pack with 355-milliliter cans.

Debuting in May, Twelve5’s Rebel Hard Beverages expanded its portfolio with a Hard Brunch Variety Pack and a Hard Juice Variety Pack. The former pack includes Original Hard Coffee, Mocha Hard Latte and three new premium malt-based beverages in Orange Mimosa, Peach Bellini and Strawberry Sangria flavors. The Hard Juice Variety Pack includes four new premium malt-based beverages in Plum Yuzu, Blood Orange Starfruit, Pineapple Mango and Blueberry Acai. All flavors across both packs contain 5% ABV.

As a bold, full-flavored sparkling hard beverage, Neon Burst blends fruit flavors in two varieties: Punch Blast (blends pineapple, passionfruit, orange, raspberry, cherry and apple) and Grape Blowout (grape and citrus). Neon Burst contains 8% ABV, less than 5 grams of sugar and 170 calories per 12-ounce serving. It’s also available in 25- and 16-ounce single cans.

The limited-edition Bud Light Seltzer Cocktail Hour variety pack delivers the boldness and refreshment of a hard seltzer in Tropical Punch, Lime Margarita, Watermelon Mojito and Strawberry Daiquiri flavors. In late May, Bud Light Seltzer added two flavors, Watermelon and Tangerine, to its classic variety pack.

Made using natural flavors, pure cane sugar and real spirits, Cooloo Cocktail Pops use a proprietary formula to provide each frozen cocktail with a smooth sorbet-like texture, even when frozen. Varieties include Mai Tai (fruity citrus and grenadine), Pina Colada (creamy coconut and ripe pineapple), Paloma (ruby-red grapefruit and citrus lime), Gin & Tonic, and Cosmo (triple-sec orange and lime notes). Each 100 milliliter, 5% ABV cocktail pop is packaged in grab-and-go canisters containing 12 pops (SRP range of $18.99-$23.99).