One of the newest and hippest trends in alcoholic beverages is called “hard” or “spiked” soda. Companies are taking what used to be just plain soft drink flavors and adding booze.
When Sarah Sigro picks up adult refreshments for get togethers with friends, she is eager to serve one of the hottest new items on the market: root beer, beer.
“I like it because it’s delicious, like, it is drinking an awesome childhood drink but in an adult way,” she explained.
Sarah’s favorite is “Not Your Father’s Root Beer” and the makers said it is flying off the shelves.
“We cannot keep up with the demand across the country and consumers are ranging from 21 years old all the way to 80 years old,” said Aaron Sosnoski of Small Town Brewery.
From “spiked” root beer, to other companies which make hard soda flavors like cherry cola, orange, lemon-lime and ginger ale, industry insiders say alcoholic beverages with traditional soft drink flavors will be the trend to watch.
“I think the trend toward spiked sodas, it will happen and occur for the next year or two,” predicted Brian Sudano with Beverage Marketing Corporation.
The Beverage Marketing Corporation points out there has been a drink evolution when it comes to flavored alcoholic beverages. It started with wine coolers, then flavored vodkas, spiked lemonades, ciders, and now hard soft drinks. Sudano says some brewers are getting creative.
“So they’re pushing into this flavor business which was originally the domain of the spirit companies,” he said.
While these drinks appear to be popular with adults, experts say parents need to stay on top of new alcoholic beverage trends so they can speak to their teens about it.
“Really talk and engage with teens that these drinks are alcohol regardless of what content they come in and how they’re packaged, but it’s alcohol and we want them to make the right choices by not consuming it if they are under the age of 21,” said Natasha Thomas with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The makers of Not Your Father’s Root Beer said they take underage drinking very seriously.
“We have 21 plus on all our packaging and all our retailers then card, as well as bars,” said Sosnoski.
Even more spiked soda products will be on the market starting in early 2016.