Slideshow: A refreshing take on summer beverages

KANSAS CITY — The dog days of summer are rapidly approaching, which means it is peak season for consumers to reach toward something cool and refreshing. New products are being introduced from retailers and foodservice operators alike as innovators formulate for summer.

Millennials are displacing Gen Xers and baby boomers as the biggest spenders in the food industry, and companies have started to account for the younger generation’s taste preferences, according to a report by Splash Beverage Corp. The younger generations of Americans are choosing to drink less alcohol than previous ones, and companies have taken notice. In addition, younger consumers are looking for a simple beverage with few ingredients perceived as artificial.

Cann, a company that specializes in THC-infused beverages, debuted a “social tonic,” that contains THC and CBD. Its newest product, Cann Lites, contain 10 calories and no added sugar.

Similarly, non-alcoholic aperitivo brand Figlia launched its first ready-to-drink beverage. The company’s Fiore Frizzante is not formulated to taste like alcohol, so as not to trigger anyone suffering from alcohol or substance abuse, according to the company.

Elsewhere, foodservice operators are turning toward tropical flavorings for their summer-inspired beverages. Auntie Anne’s rolled out three beverages featuring dragonfruit and mango paired with lemonade. In partnership with PepsiCo, Inc., Taco Bell also added a sparkling tea with dragonfruit flavoring.

“Auntie Anne’s is all about powering pick-me-ups for our on-the-go-guests,” said Cynthia Liu, vice president of marketing at Auntie Anne’s. “We’re thrilled to be pouring new, tasty, and refreshing ways for our fans to enjoy the refreshing fruit flavors they crave alongside their favorite pretzel during the summer.”

Click to view slideshow of summer beverages.

Business News