Tilray Brands Good Supply

  • Category – beer, lager
  • ABV – 4.2%
  • Location – US
  • Price – Not immediately available

Tilray Brands, the Canada-headquartered cannabis company, has expanded its beer portfolio with the release of Good Supply, a new American light beer. The 4.2% lager is being brewed at Tilray’s Sweetwater Brewing facility and has been rolled out in 16-ounce (473ml) cans across Georgia, Connecticut and New York, with more distribution to follow this summer.

Just Drinks thinks: Frustrated by the pace of federal legalisation of cannabis, Tilray Brands last year dived deeper into craft beer with the acquisition of New York-based Montauk Brewing Company. The CPG company is now turning its attention to mainstream beer drinkers with the launch of a light beer spin-off of its cannabis brand Good Supply. Montauk has been doing well in a struggling US craft beer market but, given the pessimistic outlook for the category, developing a crowd-pleasing alternative seems like sensible contingency planning.

Light beer is enjoying something of a resurgence in the US of late, as hard seltzer drinkers abandon the segment in their droves. Add in a host of angry ex-Bud Light drinkers looking for new brands and Good Supply might just have come at a good time indeed for Tilray Brands.

Bacardi’s Patron El Cielo

  • Category – spirits, Tequila
  • ABV – 40%
  • Location – Global
  • Price –$129.99 per 75cl bottle

Patron Tequila has unveiled a new “prestige” blanco expression, El Cielo. The Bacardi-owned brand claims the silver Tequila is the first “four times distilled” version of the agave-based spirit.

Just Drinks thinks: The premiumisation of Tequila continues to reach new frontiers, the latest being this self-described prestige expression from Bacardi’s Patron brand. Quite what the label prestige actually means, apart from the ability to charge in excess of $120 (or the even-steeper SRP of £170 in the UK) for an unaged blanco Tequila, remains unclear.

The brand claims to have quadruple distilled the liquid for El Cielo to “unlock the sweet flavours of agave” within. Far be it from this armchair expert to suggest the process – spearheaded by Patron’s master distiller David Rodriguez – won’t make for a purer and smoother Tequila-sipping experience. I do wonder, however, if the category (particularly outside of the US) is sufficiently developed for the purchase of this product ahead of blanco Tequilas available for less than half the price to represent anything other than an exercise in showing off.  

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Britvic’s Robinsons Ecopack

  • Category – soft drinks, squash
  • ABV – N/A
  • Location – United Kingdom
  • Price – £2.50 per 500ml carton

Britvic-owned Robinsons is to trial a super strength squash in a new packaging made with 89% plant-based materials. Robinsons Ecopack, which contains 60 serves per 500ml bottle, claims to contain 85% less plastic per serve than the brand’s one litre ‘Double Concentrate’ SKU.

Just Drinks thinks: Sustainability continues to be a concern for UK consumers, even if the country’s politicians are happy to keep allowing water companies to dump sewage in the rivers like there’s no tomorrow (there won’t be at this rate). Last month saw Pernod Ricard roll out a paper-based bottle trial for its Absolut Vodka brand (which turned out to actually have quite a bit of plastic in it), and now Britvic has taken a swing with this plant-based packaging for its Robinsons squash brand.

Robinsons Ecopack looks like a clever concept given the scale of plastic waste in the UK, and one Britvic will be hoping takes off, especially considering the squeeze on high-quality recycled PET at present (something ironically that DRS, for all its faults, may have helped to alleviate).

One concern we do have, however, is around the product’s high concentration the carton is the equivalent of three single concentrate bottles. Will consumers inadvertently end up serving themselves silly strength squash? The packaging displays the 60-serve measure prominently but the souped-up solution may take some getting used to for regular Robinsons drinkers.

Danone China’s Mizone Electrolyte +

  • Category – enhanced water
  • ABV – N/A
  • Location – China
  • Price – Not immediately available

Danone has launched a grapefruit-flavoured electrolyte drink in China. Mizone Electrolyte + uses a base of coconut water and contains 455mg of essential electrolytes including potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium and chloride.

Just Drinks thinks: Demand for enhanced water products is on the rise in China, driven by consumer preference for drinks with added functional beverages. According to GlobalData, enhanced water recorded volume growth of 7.2% in China in the first three months of the year, with consumers enjoying outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and mountaineering as Covid restrictions were lifted.

Framed against this backdrop, a move from Danone to up its presence in the segment looks like a sensible bet. The French company’s Mizone brand, which specialises in vitamin-infused water, already has a healthy market position in this segment and will hope its latest product will enable it to stay ahead of competitors such as Nongfu Spring and Hai Zhi Yan.

Accolade Wines’ Cupiolo

  • Category – wine, rosé
  • ABV – 12.5%
  • Location – UK
  • Price – £9-11 per 75cl bottle.

Accolade Wines has unveiled a new Pinot Grigio Blush – Cupiolo. The Italian wine is aimed at taking advantage of growing interest in French Provence Rose and will be available across the UK on-premise and in Tesco supermarkets.

Just Drinks thinks: Away from the woe dominating the wine industry in its homeland, Accolade is hoping to take a slice of the UK still rosé category, which GlobalData estimates will grow at a CAGR of 2.5% between 2021 and 2026.

Cupiolo takes its design cues from Italy, where the Pinot Grigio grapes contained in the wine are sourced from but Accolade says it has been designed to challenge the French domination of the style in the UK. Given the reputation enjoyed by Provence rosé internationally, and recent M&A activity in the segment, that looks a tough ask. The branding is neat, though, and the price point will appeal to value-conscious shoppers at Tesco, where the brand is being launched exclusively in the off-premise channel.