Hard Tea Could be the Next Big Alcohol TrendOctober 22, 2020 - by Taylor Getler
Hard seltzers like White Claw® have been a major trend over the past two years, and canned cocktails have really taken off in the pandemic as consumers strive to recreate the premium bar experience at home. Based on recent product releases and new industry reports, it looks like the next big thing in RTD alcohol is already emerging – hard teas.
Whole Foods Predicts Hard Kombucha Will Make a Splash
Earlier this week, Whole Foods released their top 10 food trends forecast for 2021. “Boozed-Up Booch” made the cut, and their analysts explained their reasoning behind why they think it will have such an impact over the next year: “alcoholic kombucha is making a strong flex on the beverage aisle. Hard kombucha checks all the boxes: It’s gluten-free, it’s super bubbly and can be filled with live probiotic cultures. Cheers to that!” In order to cash in on the trend, Whole Foods is adding hard kombucha to the beverage lineup available at their new taprooms.
Two Chicks Debuts High-End Hard Tea
The Las Vegas-based brand Two Chicks has just released three new canned cocktail varieties, and one of these is a vodka-infused sparkling tea. Flavored with peach, cucumber, and thyme, this is a new premium product in a field dominated by value category leaders like Boston Beer’s Twisted Tea®. This could really help to elevate the category’s profile, appealing to consumers who are more interested in mixology and who consider themselves cocktail connoisseurs.
Truly Launches Their Own Hard Tea
Speaking of Boston Beer, the company is betting that the runaway success of Twisted Tea® can be replicated with another one of their most prominent brands at the moment. Truly® is already White Claw’s® biggest competitors in the hard seltzer category, and the upcoming launch of Truly® Iced Tea Hard Seltzer (which is due out in January) is expected to have a major impact on sales for the brand. Laurent Grandet, an analyst at the investment and financial advisory firm Guggenheim, is predicting that this new line could bring in as much as $350 million in retail sales in its first year.
Hard teas can satisfy many of the needs that consumers have developed during the pandemic. These products are a sweet way for consumers to get their cocktail fix without having to worry about their drink being loaded up with calories, and hard kombucha in particular has a real opportunity to appeal to shoppers that want to get health benefits from the products that they purchase – even the alcoholic ones. As consumers hunker down inside for the winter and miss out on the experience of sitting down at a cozy bar, they’ll be able to bring a piece of that home by indulging in a ready-to-drink spiked tea cocktail.