I’m speaking with Fabio Parasecoli about his new book, Gastronativism: Food, Identity, Politics, at the Museum of the City of New York at a session chaired by Krishnendu Ray at 6:30 pm. Information is here and the ticketing link is here. This is a preview of the museum’s forthcoming exhibit, Food in New York: Bigger Than the Plate (opening September 16) and is co-presented by MOFAD (Museum of Food and Drink).
The coming influx of hard soda
As if we don’t have enough trouble with alcohol in this country, it’s now being added to sodas. In states that allow such things, expect to see them taking up more and more room in supermarket aisles.
The business press is interested in this trend; there is much money to be made on drinks of any kind.
See, for example, Bud Light to Launch Hard Soda.
Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda will have no sugar or caffeine. Anheuser-Busch describes it as ‘light like a seltzer and bold like soda pop.’ Each can will contain 100 calories and 5% alcohol.
This comes in cola, cherry cola, orange and lemon-lime flavors.
Consumer demand has soared over the past few years for nonalcoholic seltzers such as LaCroix and alcoholic ones such as White Claw that are low on calories and offer just a hint of flavor. Now some consumers are migrating toward stronger flavors, industry experts say, and brewers are trying out new fizzy drinks.
This, then, is about market share.
Lots of other companies are getting into this act.
- From Beer to Hard Seltzer: A Cultural Pivot Finds a New Market: Boston Beer Co., owner of popular brands like Sam Adams and Dogfish Head, launched its hard seltzer Truly in 2016. CEO Dave Burwick explains the company’s cultural pivot that made it No. 2 in the rapidly growing category.
- No- and low-alcohol category value in key global markets nears $10bn. Monster enters alcohol category with CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective acquisition: Monster Beverage Corporation will acquire CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective LLC, a craft beer and hard seltzer company for $330m, providing a springboard for the energy drink giant into the alcoholic beverage category…. Read more
- Coca-Cola, Molson Coors to partner on Simply Spiked Lemonade. The RTD alcoholic beverage, which is set to hit shelves this summer, is the second drink to be developed by the two companies, following the launch of Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in 2021.
- Dry January movement grows presenting opportunity for non-alcoholic beverage brands: Many consumers are reporting to take part in Dry January by either abstaining completely or significantly cutting down (‘Damp January’) on their alcohol consumption for the month, presenting year-long opportunities for the non-alcoholic beverage brands, says Morning Consult…. Read more
Given all that, what are we to make of this piece of news?
- Alcohol and COVID-19: Good news for red wine drinkers, but blow for beer boozers? People who consume red wine between one to more than five glasses a week had a 10 to 17% lower risk in contracting COVID-19, but beer drinkers had a heightened risk, according to a recent study…. Read more
- Here’s the study: COVID-19 Risk Appears to Vary Across Different Alcoholic Beverages.
- Here’s the caveat: Association does not equal causation. Drinkers of red wine have different lifestyles than beer drinkers, perhaps?
- And here are the study’s sensible conclusions: The COVID-19 risk appears to vary across different alcoholic beverage subtypes, frequency, and amount…Consumption of beer and cider and spirits and heavy drinking are not recommended during the epidemics. Public health guidance should focus on reducing the risk of COVID-19 by advocating healthy lifestyle habits and preferential policies among consumers of beer and cider and spirits.