Bold, innovative, and increasingly diversified flavors once again drove new product launches last quarter as brands prepared for warmer weather and outdoor gatherings. Q2 of 2021 saw a slate of top-selling new products with fruity flavors across the hard seltzer, beer, and RTD categories to prepare for spring and summer sipping.

From celebrity-backed spirits to lighter and “ready-to-drink” wine offerings, BevAlc Insights examined Drizly sales data to highlight the top product launches in April, May, and June of 2021 and what they indicate about emerging consumer trends.

New Flavors Drive Beer and Hard Seltzer

The top eight new products on Drizly during Q2 highlight new or seasonal flavors for hard seltzers and beer alike. This was largely driven by hard seltzer, which held six of the top eight top new product spots last quarter, where flavor diversification is appealing to consumers. 

The two most popular hard seltzer launches were flavorful variety packs: Truly Hard Seltzer Punch Variety Pack and Bud Light Seltzer’s Peach, Raspberry, Tangerine, and Apple Iced Tea Variety Pack. “Retailers should expect more brands to test similar flavor profiles,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights.

Two of White Claw’s new Surge SKUs, which boast an 8% ABV compared to the brand’s standard 5% ABV and were announced in April, also made the top new products list in Q2. The success of White Claw Surge Blood Orange and Cranberry may suggest that more higher-ABV options could be on the horizon within the hard seltzer category.

But it wasn’t just new hard seltzer products that reflected bold flavors in Q2; the two new traditional beer products that made Drizly’s top-sellers list were also driven by fruit flavors: Samuel Adams’ Porch Rocker (which is not new, but a seasonal release), a radler infused with lemon, and Stone Brewing’s Enjoy By 07.04.21 Tangerine & Pineapple IPA.

Consumers Embrace Hard Versions of Familiar Seltzers

Everyone is dipping a toe into the hard seltzer game — even traditional seltzer brands. Following Topo Chico’s popular hard seltzer launch in Q1 and Polar’s debut of Arctic Chill (formerly known as Arctic Summer) several years back, Spindrift has now entered the hard seltzer space too. Spindrift Spiked launched in March but became a top new product on Drizly in Q2 with its Spindrift Spiked Variety Pack. 

Fruit Flavors Dominate RTD Releases

Similar to Q2’s new hard seltzers, RTD cocktails, which made up half of the best-selling new spirits products in Q2, are seeing fruity flavor riffs. The hot brand of last summer, High Noon, is back with their new Tropical Variety Pack and Mango SKUs, while Cutwater’s Peach Margarita and Strawberry Margarita join Q1’s Mango Margarita debut.

Celebrity Spirits Collabs Draw Attention

Some of the best-selling traditional spirits products released in Q2 were celebrity collaborations, underscoring the impact that celebrity backing (and a viral campaign) can have on consumer purchasing and suggesting buyers are eager to try brands and new products endorsed by familiar faces. Lagavulin’s 11-Year-Old Islay Scotch Offerman Edition, made in collaboration with actor Nick Offerman, ranked No. 2 among spirits product launches last quarter, while 818 Tequila from model Kendall Jenner ranked No. 8.

Wine Gets in on RTD’s Success

Following the fast-growing RTD trend, sparkling wine producer Chandon launched the Chandon Garden Spritz in Q2, a blend of sparkling wine and bitters that attempts to riff off the popular warm-weather drink, the Aperol spritz. “The newly launched Chandon Garden Spritz is gaining popularity with consumers, pointing to a potential emerging trend in ‘RTD’-style wine offerings that retailers should have on their radar,” says Paquette.

Lighter Options for Boxed Wine

As consumers seek “better-for-you” wine options, Bota Box’s newly launched Breeze line became popular among Drizly consumers in Q2. The two top-ranking new SKUs — Bota Box Breeze Rosé and Bota Box Breeze Pinot Grigio — are lower in alcohol, calories, and carbs.