The Future of Canned Alcoholic Drinks

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The Future of Canned Cocktails

The Innovative Landscape of the 2024 Alcohol Market

The beverage industry has been going through a time of innovation. Many analysts say that it started with the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone was stuck inside. Bars shut their doors. People were putting on weight and wanted better-for-you drink alternatives. However, the rise in popularity of flavored malt beverages (FMBs) and ready-to-drink cocktails (RTDs) started before 2020 with the innovations in alcohol processing. Whether it was consumer demand or industry innovation, the alcohol industry looks completely different today than it did five years ago. Hard seltzer is an established beverage category. Over a dozen of our nation’s most popular non-alcoholic brands have released FMBs or RTDs. And yet, dozens of hard seltzer brands have downsized or simply vanished.

According to Report Linker, a market analysis site, the global hard seltzer market is worth nearly 15 billion today, increasing 17.7% from last year. While the hard seltzer market is still a growing and thriving industry, it’s a crowded space. Many brands are either ending their hard seltzer lines to take up the ready-to-drink cocktail label or are focusing on the wider FMB market. Below we list some of the trends that are picking up steam in 2023-2024.

Juice-Based Flavored Malt Beverages

Juice based alcoholic drinks are not exactly new, but they are making a splash in the alcohol industry. People want drinks that taste good and are good for you, and juice-based RTDs are hitting that spot. Shaun Belongie from New Belgium calls “hard juice” a “blurry space.” It might be blurry, but it’s not unpopulated. A lot of juice brands, like SunnyD, Oceanside, and Simply Lemonade, are getting into the boozy game. Even White Claw and Truly Hard Seltzer are using real fruit juice now to match what drinkers want. Big brands like New Belgium are getting into the game with Wild Nectar Hard Juice, and celebrity brands like Guy Feire’s Flavortown Spiked just released a new Spiked Fruit Punch.

Wacky-Weird Flavored-Malt-Beverages

Now that so many brands can boast real fruit juice, low calories, and near-zero carbs, the competition for shelf space and consumer attention is fierce. Some brands are taking their innovative nature to a whole new level, like Constellation Brands who’ve released a new flavor-changing FMB, Shyft. In a piece posted by Brewbound, Constellation Brands’ chief growth and strategy officer Mallika Monteiro said that, “[Shyft is] designed to hit different taste buds at different times.”

Happy ThursdayConstellation Brands isn’t the only FMB taking a walk on the fun side. Molson Coors recently announced a non-carbonated line of flavored malt beverages called Happy Thursday Spike Refreshers, launching in March 2024. The alcoholic industry giant created these drinks with Gen Z and their social media accounts in mind. The drinks follow current Gen Z trends and are designed to be Instagram and Tiktok-ready.

Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages

Caffeinated alcoholic drinks are back in the spotlight, bringing an electrifying twist to the drink scene. These beverages, blending caffeine’s zing with alcohol’s punch, are making a comeback, sparking a new buzz in the industry. Hard teas are claiming their space, harnessing natural caffeine from tea leaves. They’ve quietly been around, but now they’re grabbing attention. Brands like Twisted Tea have been slaying since 2001, showing that they’re not a passing trend but a significant player in the drink world. The global hard tea market is set to skyrocket, predicted to hit an impressive $14.50 billion by 2030.

Hard coffees and espresso martinis are also stirring up the drink scene with vibrant energy. These alcoholic coffees are the sophisticated, refined cousins of these caffeinated drinks. These FMBs and RTD cocktails contain coffee and malt liquor or real spirits, offering a classy, smooth canned cocktail that exudes sophistication.

Want to find your perfect hard seltzer or canned cocktail? Try our Seltzer Finder! You can search by flavor, ABV, carbs, and more to discover your ideal beverage.

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