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GLOBAL: New beverages - April

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A milk beer, a caffeine-infused vodka and water with flower essences are some of the new drinks products launched this month.

Launched this month in Japan, Bilk from Abashiri Beer consists of one-third milk and is designed to appeal to female taste buds. The idea of a milk beer is said to have come from local dairy farms, who thought that the product would be an ideal way to use their surplus milk.

Anheuser Busch, meanwhile, has also released a line of beers targeted at females. Marketed in the US under the Michelob Ultra Pilsner Beer brand are three new naturally-flavoured fruit varieties - Lime Cactus, Tuscan Orange Grapefruit, and Pomegranate Raspberry.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has released The Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu Beer in the US. The beer is flavoured with wildflower honey, Muscat grapes, barley malt, hawthorn fruit, and chrysanthemum flowers. It is said to be a revival of a 9,000-year-old beer mixture, consisting of rice, honey and fruit, that was found preserved in Northern China in 2005.

In the spirits sector, Wingard Importers has begun distributing a vodka infused with caffeine and taurine in the US. V2 Super Premium Vodka is marketed as the "ultimate substitute for vodka and Red Bull" and is said to contain no sugar or artificial flavourings.

Meanwhile, in the bottled water category, Balance Water Company's children's line of Balance Pure Spring Water contains flower essences from black-eyed susan, crowea, and paw-paw flowers. The water, recently launched in Australia, is said to help with energy, concentration, attention, and balancing sleeping patterns. Each 400ml bottle of the water is designed with a pull-up spout and is "thin enough for a child's hand".

Finally, Odwalla has the H2Odwalla Nutrient Enhanced Water Beverage in the US. The drink is made with organic ingredients and natural fruit flavours and is available in Strawberry Kiwi, Blueberry Tea and Ginger Plum flavours.

These drinks all feature on Datamonitor's Productscan Online NPD database.


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