Mocktails and More
Mixing meal occasions and flavor profiles in one product is a trend we’ve seen across the board – from Dunkin Donuts’ glazed donut breakfast sandwich to dessert inspired tea flavors by The Republic of Tea. Brands are blending day parts together by mixing dessert with breakfast, snacktime with dinner, and breakfast with just about everything.
But another interesting manifestation of this innovative “daypart hybridization” trend can be seen in cocktail-inspired non-alcoholic products, or “mocktails”. Argo Tea is a great example of this, offering “Mojitea” and “Hibiscus Tea Sangria” varieties of its RTD teas, as is Jelly Belly with its limited time “Draft” offer of beer flavored jelly beans. Beverage company Rockstar even offers a pina colada variety of its popular energy drink line. These products are just a few examples of bringing the after-dinner daypart to work, to the gym, to school, and more. And the mocktail beverage trend is even making its way into the confections industry. TicTac recently released a new line of “Mixers” flavor-changing candies, one of which is melon mojito flavored. Jelly Belly too offers a line of “Cocktail Classics”, ranging from pomegranate cosmo to peach bellini flavors.
One could say that what drives this hybridization of different dayparts in a single food or beverage product is the larger macro-trend of consumers’ desire for personalization and customization. From self-serve frozen yogurt bars to the burgeoning make-your-own pizza restaurant concepts, consumers increasingly want to customize everything they consume to their exact taste preferences. They’re telling companies to throw out the rules saying that pancakes are only for breakfast and burgers only for dinner – we want them when we want them, and we want them now. If I want a cocktail while I’m at work, then make me a beverage that I won’t be fired for drinking at my cubicle – thus is born products like the Crystal Light water enhancer in pomtini and peach bellini flavors. Imbibe in all meal occasions whenever you’d like, America. We’ll make you something that will work for you.