Healthy Libations 2.0

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The better-for-you beverage trend is expanding into alcohol. Though alcohol is not typically associated with health and wellness, it may not come as a surprise that more healthful bar options and enhanced libations are entering the market. After all, drinking culture is a part of the lives of many Americans, and as consumers aim to make healthier lifestyle choices that culture is changing. Here are some of the beverages launching with a better-for-you twist:

Hard kombucha – These kombuchas have a higher ABV than what you will find in your typical booch. It is widely available in the West Coast (there are several breweries or boocheries, if you prefer, dedicated to it) and it is expected to become more prominent nationwide. Several RTD hard kombuchas have launched over the last few years, including June Shine, Wild Tonic, Kombrewcha, Kyla Hard Kombucha and Booch Craft.

Enhanced alcohol – Last year, Miller Coors announced that it’s going to enter the hard seltzer category with Vizzy, an enhanced product fortified with vitamin C from acerola berry. Zelus Beer Company and Sufferfest Beer Company launched electrolyte-enhanced beers geared towards active consumers to help them replenish carbs and electrolytes after exercise. Sufferfest’s beers are brewed with other functional ingredients like black currant and bee pollen as well. Botanicals like turmeric, matcha and ginger are appearing in a wide range of alcoholic beverages and are becoming especially trendy in hard ciders. Examples include Seattle Cider’s tangerine turmeric and basil mint SKUs, Stoked matcha and yuzu SKU, and Angry Orchard’s apple ginger SKU.

Low/no alcohol – Brands are choosing an even more health-forward route by creating beverages that have little or no alcohol. Health-conscious millennials who are “sober curious” are driving the proliferation of zero-proof spirits and high-end mocktails by brands like Ritual, Curious Elixirs, and Shrub-bucha. Breckenridge Brewery is helping consumers cut back with a low-alcohol and electrolyte-enhanced seasonal beer that the brand says is, “designed to ease you into the New Year, new plans and just maybe a new you!” Goose Island and Dogfish Head also launched low-alcohol IPAs (which are typically known for their high alcohol content).

Considering a better-for-you cocktail or mocktail mixer for your next beverage product? We’re here to help you innovate! Email thedrinktank@imbibeinc.com.