The Most Exciting Launches in the Drinks Category

There’s lots happening in the drinks industry right now. From multinationals going “glocal” in new ways to novel ideas that tackle the plastic problem; we’ve rounded up some of the most exciting beverage related innovations.

Carlsberg’s Snap Pack

Just one of the sustainable packaging initiatives recently announced by Carlsberg, their Snap Packs negate the need for plastic wrapping by huddling the multipack cans together with glue. Brilliantly topical, Carlsberg have announced an innovation that looks set to save a significant amount of plastic packaging — up to 76%, or the equivalent of 60 million plastic bags every year — whilst the furore of the plastic packaging debate is at full height. Bravo, Carlsberg.

Could your brand take inspiration from Carlsberg and reduce plastic usage? We wrote about the most exciting developments in plastic packaging alternatives. Could one of these be the solution to your packaging dilemma?

Diageo’s Edible Straws

In a canny move to reduce plastic waste, Diageo have launched a range of edible straws to accompany their pre-mixed canned drinks. A strawberry flavoured straw is paired with Pimms, lime with Gordon’s G&T, chocolate with Baileys iced coffee etc.

With their edible straws range, Diageo have brought a bit of fun to the otherwise serious subject of plastic waste.

Cask & Kettle’s Hot Cocktails

Why has no one thought of this before? Of-course we want a one-button hot cocktail! Neatly dovetailing the twin trends of cocktails and coffee, Cask & Kettle have created Irish Coffee and Spiked Cider pods to fit the K Cup coffee brewer.

Yes, there have been pre-mixed “hot cocktails” before, but Cask & Kettle have done things differently.

First, they’ve included the alcohol. This bucks the norm of including everything but the main ingredient (mojito mix minus the rum, anyone?) thereby offering complete convenience. But, they’re not talking about convenience. They’re talking about artisan, handcrafted, they’re even a little bit hipster — note the artisanal name, the scotch whisky stylings of box, the cardboard packaging. Wrapping ultimate convenience up in a hand-crafted box is neat and could be a winning formula.

Wine in a can

A handful of pioneering wine makers (The Uncommon, ManCan, Union Wine) are selling their wine in cans. Directly challenging wine’s snooty, exclusive, and slightly feminine image, these new breed wines wouldn’t look out of place on the craft beer shelf. Each of them have positioned their wine as artisan and hand-crafted, a little irreverent, and are targeted at a more male audience.

Part of the beerification of wine (because a trend has to have a nifty name), this could win wine a whole new audience. Consumers who are comfortable drinking beer, are even knowledgeable about craft beers or whisky, could access wine in a similar way. Could a wine revolution be hot on the heels of the gin revolution?

Coca-Cola Clear & Crystal Pepsi

This summer in Japan Coca-Cola launched Coca-Cola Clear, a lemon flavour, zero-calorie soft drink. Now, for those of us who are old enough; you’ll remember Tab Clear back in the nineties. Tab Clear lasted all of two years in the US and UK; and spent even less time on the shelves in Japan, before it was pulled. What makes Coke think they’ve got it right this time? Perhaps, with Clear, they are trying to capitalise on the ‘no artificials’ and ‘ingredient transparency’ trends?

Pepsi J-Cola

You’ve heard of J-Pop and J-Beauty, well now Pepsi have released J-Cola. And this might just be an incredibly smart move on thepart of the soft drinks brand.

Brands have been going glocal for the past decade(ish), producing market specific product variants, or menu items, but Pepsi have taken it to the next level. They’ve created a completely new sub-brand, specific and unique to the Japanese market. Consumers in Japan now have a drink which is specially crafted to their palette and specially named for them. Surely this can only strengthen brand loyalty within the Japanese market? And possibly even create a model for other markets?

Interesting Launches is a monthly feature written by innovation consultancy The Strategy Distillery. Sign up to our newsletter here to avoid missing out.