- Alcohol manufacturers identify an inroad to the health and fitness trend by making beverages that are low on calories.
- Targeting millennials, especially women, several manufacturers are rolling out alcoholic seltzer, tea and fruit drinks.
- According to a poll paid for by Boston Beer, 47% of Americans 21 or older say there are too few low-calorie alcoholic beverage options.
The habits and preferences of millennials have been driving innovation in the food and beverage business. Trends focused on this generation are critical to food and beverage startups, which are estimated to comprise about $5.7 billion in investments. A 2015 Goldman Sachs report said this generation is expected to account for more than 75% of growth for food and beverage over the next decade.
According to studies, 81% of millennials exercise regularly, but tend to be more social than previous generations. Fitness classes like Zumba and Crossfit, or road races are popular with them. Alcoholic beverage companies are creating beverages that can be enjoyed by a group after the exercise is done. Seltzer, which is growing while soda sales have dropped, is a prime vehicle for the trend. Sales of the healthier fizzy beverages have soared 29% in the five years ending in 2013.
"Healthier" alcoholic options also give larger companies the chance to break in to emerging segments of the market. When it announced the debut of Truly Spiked & Sparkling hard seltzer, Boston Beer said it had lost market share to new craft beers.
The new alcoholic drinks will have labels that show they fit in with many of today's top food trends. Truly Spiked & Sparkling touts itself as a 100-calorie drink using fermented cane sugar and natural flavors. Diageo's recently announced Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer, which will be 90 calories, will market itself as having all natural flavors, no added sugars, no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, and gluten-free.