Sectors including food and beauty have rapidly adopted wellness cues in their branding as consumers seek healthy options and natural alternatives at every turn. Yet until recently, the alcohol industry has remained largely immune.

Today, alcohol brands are seeking to entice the health-focused consumer with low-calorie options and natural flavors. The rise of spiked seltzer like Nauti Seltzer is a premium example. Last spring, Wachusett Brewing Company rolled out the seltzer, a healthy alternative to hard sodas, as an attempt to diversify its brand in the crowded craft beer market.

Web 4can 4fruit 1

But it’s not just craft brewers—Major labels are also lining up to offer new heath-focused options. This September, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced its plans to acquire SpikedSeltzer, a pioneer of the hard seltzer business that uses cold-pressed citrus essences. Smirnoff is also planning to launch its own Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer, according to parent company Diageo.

“There’s a reason you see people in yoga pants all over New York City—not because they’re working out,” Valerie Toothman, vice president for marketing innovation at Anheuser-Busch InBev told Bloomberg in August. “It’s this idea that a kind of health and well-being is the new premium.”

Truly Spiked & Sparkling, an April launch from the Boston Beer Company (distributors of Sam Adams), uses no artificial flavors or sweeteners and contains just 100 calories. The new brand seeks to capitalize on the wave of interest in carbonated water, which is replacing soda for health-conscious consumers (witness the spiking sales of La Croix, which have doubled in two years to $255 million, according to Euromonitor).

Beyond seltzer, brands are scrambling to offer low-calorie or health-focused options. In September, MillerCoors launched Zumbida, an alcoholic version of the light, fruity aguas fresca found throughout Mexico. Last winter, Smirnoff created a line of vodkas flavored with real fruit juice, while Stolichnaya released a vodka branded as gluten free, making it the first large, established, and international vodka brand to do so, according to Reuters.

Major companies are even changing their long-term strategies, anticipating that health-forward spirits are not a passing fad but a long-term consumer shift. Anheuser-Busch InBev predicted this summer that by 2025, low- or no-alcohol beers would make up 20% of its sales.

For more on soft drink trends, see our coverage from the Summer Fancy Food Show.

Please provide your contact information to continue.

Before submitting your information, please read our Privacy Policy as it contains detailed information on the processing of your personal data and how we use it.

Related Content

Mammoth Meatball 03
In The Press

Contagious Cannes Contenders 2023

Contagious editors have chosen the Mammoth Meatball as one of their top picks of campaigns that will bring home the Grands Prix from Cannes Lions this year
Read More
Lead final 66bbdf7ed4f61d71755be29800c98e6e
In The Press

Meet The Maker: 'Speaking In Color'

Bas Korsten and Daniel Bonner join Creative Moment for their Meet The Maker series
Read More