Industry insiders are predicting 2019 will be the year of the canned cocktail.
While RTDs such as Jack Daniel’s & Cola have been booming on shelves for years, the trend will go beyond a simple spirit and mixer and follows the recent canned wine popularity surge.
Forbes notes: “A Google search of ‘canned cocktails’ turns up 14 million results, with the first page full of articles about them from the likes of Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal and VinePair. This makes sense, given the trend toward canned wines and beers, which make for easy transport and ease of drinking during more ‘occasions’ (as the marketing suits say) like outdoor festivals and concerts.”
Meanwhile Newsweek noted: “Canned cocktails got a boost in 2018, and they’ll likely be all the rage in the new year.”
Drinks companies in the US are releasing everything from canned Bloody Marys to Daiquiris, Margaritas and Caipirinhas.
One of the first Aussie businesses to move the canned cocktail upmarket was Sydney bar called Continental Deli, which started putting Martinis in cans a few years back. It’s since added Manhattans, Cosmopolitans and Negronis to the mix.
Other local players in the canned cocktail market include SOFI Spritz, which has released a range that includes a Bellini – sparkling wine with soda, white peach and ginger.
Meanwhile, Pernod Ricard’s release of Kahlua Espresso Martinis in cans late last year sent ripples of excitement through the drinks trade.
The Kahlúa Espresso Martini can featured a first-of-its-kind packaging for the RTD cocktail industry.
The innovative can is fitted with a smart nitrogen widget, which forces bubbles to the surface as soon as the can is opened, creating the classic Espresso Martini crema.
The RTD was recently a finalist in the World Beverage Innovation Awards 2018 for Best Brand Extension/Reformulation.
Eric Thomson, Pernod Ricard Australia, Marketing Director, said: “Australia is renowned for its incredible coffee culture and espresso martinis are one of the most ordered cocktails in bars and resturants. Making cocktails at home however can sometimes be a barrier for consumers, so we developed the Kahlúa Espresso Martini canned cocktail so consumers could replicate that experience at home.
“Our clear focus on quality and innovative packaging for the Kahlúa Espresso Martini can will not only add to the consumer experience and moment of consumption – but to the entire convenience segment as this truly is a first-of-its-kind packaging solution for the ready to drink cocktail industry.”
New technology is key to canned cocktails being taken seriously by a wider range of consumers. It allows a higher level of carbonation in the can, making the cocktail inside taste refreshing, even after six months on the shelf.
And then there’s the fact, as ThisIsPopulist notes: “Millennials are obsessed with drinking out of cans.”
“Leave it to the Millennials to start the most odd trends,” it adds. “The latest – their desire to drink their alcoholic beverages out of a can (but not beer because that’s not cool or instagrammable). The box wine thing was already a disaster to winos, but yet here we are with canned Merlot. Millennials are always on the go, so convenience, efficiency and affordability are really important. Individual packs that you can grab and go to the festival or beach without having to mix and prep is ideal.”