The drinks industry is summer-ready with a range of new summer flavours for soft drinks and spirits, and reimagined rosé from creative winemakers.
These could all be complemented with the current drink trend for fancy ice too.
New summer flavours – soft drinks and spirits
New soft drinks releases around the world show the different ways producers are innovating to keep up with or set new drink industry trends.
A Mexican favourite has been reimagined by Dutch Bros. Drawing on the 2023 drink trend for spicy drinks, this uses the brand’s Rebel energy drink with flavours of mangonada (a sweet and spicy Mexican dessert), real strawberries and tangy Tajin seasoning.
Over in the US, Cinnabon blends fruit puree with vanilla for its new Strawberry and Passionfruit Refreshers, while Chick-fil-A combines lemonade and sweetened ice tea in its expanded range of watermelon flavoured drinks.
In the UK, Schweppes have launched new sodas in summer flavours of Melon Watermelon and Peach Coconut.
Current drink trends around whole or sugar-free ingredients have influenced new soft drinks elsewhere.
In Canada, McDonalds is using real lemon pulp and juice concentrate in its Strawberry, Passionfruit, and Peach Mango & Lemon fruit splash drinks. In Japan, Starbucks has boosted its popular Melon Frappuccino with 1.8 times more melon pulp. And in Australia, Coca-Cola is meeting demand for sugar-free drinks with its new Raspberry Zero Sugar cola.
Spirits brands are also drawing on current drink trends with new launches, including creating sustainable spirits and taking inspiration from retro flavours.
UK-brand Ten Locks have created a climate-positive vodka. Using 100% British peas, Pod Pea has a sweet but vegetal flavour. Also using different ingredients for vodka are Ciroc. The brand has created a new premium vodka distilled from French grapes infused with melon and honey.
Continued demand for RTDs has seen Jack Daniels partner with Coca-Cola for a 5% ABV canned JD & Coke.
Brothers Drinks Co have picked up on the interest in retro or nostalgic flavours and indulgent treats with its Raspberry Ripple Cider. And producers at Angry Orchard cider have seized on the popularity of pink drinks and rosé with a Blueberry Rosé Hard Cider.
Rosé itself is being reimagined though…
Rosé goes radical – rosé wine trends
Having reestablished itself as sophisticated and desirable, rosé is evolving.
Makers of the pink drink are playing with its hue and flavours to create new, more nuanced wines. These contemporary rosés are all about playfulness and production techniques, to appeal to younger drinkers and suit sustainability trends, respectively.
The popularity and prevalence of different wine production techniques has influenced the category in a range of ways. Co-fermented and field blends of both white and red grapes are setting new rosé wine trends.
And light red wines are also edging into rosé’s territory, offering the same structure and aesthetic of a rosé but with a lower alcohol content than a standard red.
Elsewhere, orange is the new pink, as orange wine – a white wine produced in the same way as red wine to add extra flavour and colour – is on the rise.
Cool new trend – fancy ice
TikTok lovers will likely be familiar with the concept of this ‘beverage bling’ already. Fancy ice is one of the current drink trends driven by social media, as people share reels of restocking and serving up luxurious ice cubes in drinks.
The fancy ice trend grew from lockdown trends for creating bar-style cocktails from the comfort of home. And as with most things on socials, aesthetic is everything.
The obvious additions are fresh fruits, veg, berries, and even sprigs of botanicals or edible florals. Some influencers and mixologists are upping the ante with frozen sweets or candy, branded ice cubes, or layered colours too.
These cool creations not only slowly release extra flavours but give an immediate visual hit too.
Drinks industry news – new visuals & deposit return scheme delayed
Drinks giants Pepsi and Fanta have each unveiled new logos.
Pepsi has updated its logo to mark its upcoming 125th anniversary, featuring new electric blue colouring and retro lettering. Fanta has given its logo a “playful” new look with simple lettering and the removal of any imagery.
UK supermarkets are also focussing on their visuals.
Retailers have been advised by academics from Cambridge University to change how they display drinks to help shoppers to moderate their drinking habits.
Research has found that displaying alcohol-free drinks alongside beer and wine will help shoppers to cut down on their booze intake.
In Scotland, the deposit return scheme has been delayed due to concerns around its potential cost implications for businesses.
There have been fears it will burden manufacturers and brands with extra costs – to add barcodes to packaging and register with trade bodies – in an already challenging trading climate.
Drinks industry leaders have welcomed the postponement to Spring 2024.
At Simpsons, we are at the forefront of emerging drink industry trends and news, with the knowhow and experience for drinks brands and companies to be the first movers in their category.
Image source: The Food People 2023