MillerCoors debuts a hard iced tea
CHICAGO – MillerCoors has launched a new beverage called Easy Tea Co., a lightly-carbonated hard iced tea with a crisp citrus flavor, in select markets.
More than 85% of all tea poured in America is enjoyed over ice, and Easy Tea brings the familiar refreshment of the classic beverage, but with a kick. A distinct departure from sweet tea flavors, Easy Tea is a refined, brisk and less sweet than regular iced tea with 5% alcohol by volume.
“We’re excited to bring people a hard iced tea with just the right amount of sweetness,” said Melissa Wagamon, Easy Tea marketing manager. “The name says it all. The simple, yet crisp and citrusy taste of Easy Tea makes it the perfect drink for kicking back and relaxing with a few close friends.”
Easy Tea, which will be sold in 24 oz. cans at select liquor and convenience stores, is available now in Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, upstate New York, New York City. Ohio and Wisconsin.
Nauti Seltzer expands distribution across U.S.
WESTMINSTER, Mass.– After only four months on the shelf, Nauti Seltzer is expanding both their offerings and their distribution footprint.
Nauti Seltzer is a 110 calorie, 5% ABV, healthy alternative in the hard soda category. Nauti Seltzer is available in four flavors: raspberry, lemon-lime, grapefruit and cranberry in 12 oz. six-packs of cans and in the variety 12-pack.
"It's been an amazing response," said Ned LaFortune, co-founder and president of Wachusett and founder of the Craft Cocktail Company, the parent company of Nauti Seltzer. "The initial roll-out in the Northeast is complete and both the consumer and retailer demand now has us ready to start sending Nauti Seltzer as far south as Florida and as far west as Wisconsin. There is no question in our mind that this healthier segment of the hard soda category has a lot of runway in the United States, and we are excited for the future."
Nauti Seltzer is also launching a variety pack dubbed Nauti Party Pack in response to intense consumer demand.
"We initially wanted to hold off in year one, but as consumers are rapidly entering the segment and are in their trial period, it just made too much sense to make it easy for them to sample all our fantastic flavors in a convenient way," LaFortune said.
Nauti Seltzer launched in April and is currently available in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as is poised to begin distributing in Ohio, Illinois, Georgia, and Florida.
Retailers, suppliers putting ‘FLONH’ into practice
Retailers and suppliers are in the midst of a strategy shift in the consumable aisles. As consumers increase their focus on the role that diet plays in health care, retailers and suppliers are retooling their strategies to emphasize fresh, local, organic, natural, healthy products — something that Kantar Retail calls the FLONH effect.
(To view the full Category Review, click here.)
Brian Owens, director of retail insights at Kantar Retail, said his group predicts that 25% to 50% of major supplier and retailer innovations between now and 2020 will have a FLONH component to them. FLONH is driving retail’s prioritization of health-and-wellness, whereby shoppers are willing to pay more for health-and-wellness clarity, convenience and personalization, Owens said.
“The high cost of health care is really driving the demand in the retail health landscape, specifically when it relates to food, which is really what FLONH captures,” Owens told Drug Store News. “The challenge we have in retail now is that CPG suppliers think that everything is about health, and they view health-and-wellness as one word. What we’re trying to highlight is that health-and-wellness are two separate trip missions.”
Owens described the health component as having more to do with food, while wellness is more about maintenance and beauty. (For more, see page 18.) While the local component of FLONH is not about local foods, but about connecting with shoppers. “It’s a way to connect with the shopper in an intimate way,” he said. “That’s really what the retailer should be thinking about.”
“Ritzman does a great job of a team-based and holistic approach to FLONH. Regional pharmacies have a unique competitive advantage to winning this space,” Owens said. “Walmart, if they were able to really double down on health care, could drive more shoppers than everyone else. When they do health fairs, they break records.”
Owens also cited CVS as an example of a retailer that does a good job of recognizing that there are separate trip missions to which the evolving retail environment has to pay attention. Owens said CVS understands that its shoppers are at the pharmacy getting prescriptions, but also may be looking for healthy food, seasonal chocolates or other merchandise.
“Retailers like Walmart, like CVS, are really going to have to be even more specific in terms of what they want to be, and they are going to have to make a choice as to whether they are going to be just about health, or just about wellness,” Owens added.
When it comes to food, fresh and dry healthy consumables are showing up at checkout everywhere.
“We intend to be the global leader in well-being snacks, with 50% of our portfolio in the well-being space by 2020,” said Diane Striegel, senior manager of industry development at Mondelez International. “We plan to simplify and improve the ingredient and nutritional profile of our current portfolio by reducing sodium and saturated fats by 10%; increasing whole grains by 25%; and looking to remove artificial colors and flavors in key brands. We also will continue to inspire consumers to snack mindfully and put calories on the front of packaging globally by the end of 2016 to help them make informed choices.”
Sales of “natural” and “organic” snacks in the past two years alone have grown 24% and 28%, respectively, according to Nielsen’s 2015 Global Health and Wellness Survey. Analysts and executives said this growth is being driven by products that are perceived as more healthy. And they are confident that trend will continue. By 2020, sales of natural and organic food are expected to represent nearly 14% of total food sales.
Larry Lupo, VP grocery and drug for Mars Chocolate North America, told DSN that the healthy food trend also is about transparency.
“For us, taking the right steps forward to offer more choice and transparency has included dozens of actions [that] represent millions of dollars of investment and thousands of hours of research and implementation, including prominently displaying calorie counts on the front of all packaging,” Lupo said. “We were the first industry player to keep marketing focused to adults, not children. We are removing high-fructose corn syrup, innovating to lower levels of saturated fat, committing to remove artificial colors from all of our products globally and supporting the [World Health Organization’s] 10% added-sugar limitation and added-sugar labeling.”