With summer in full-swing, it’s no surprise that fruit-flavours are proving a popular source of inspiration across all categories. However, it's watermelon in particular that is dominating new launches.
From gin to radlers, hard kombuchas to vodka, and even cider, watermelon is the flavor of choice for many summer brand extensions. And the reasons behind its popularity are equally numerous.
First of all, it chimes with the trend for pink-hued liquids – a trend which is showing no signs of slowing down. Pink gins in particular are now available in an ever wider array of flavors, from berry to rhubarb, and now watermelon.
Secondly, in a climate where health and wellness are among consumers’ primary concerns when choosing what and how much alcohol to imbibe, watermelon has some associated health properties. Though no alcohol product can claim to be healthy, watermelon enjoys positive health-giving associations. According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AGMRC), watermelon has a high water content of around 92%, while one cup of diced, fresh watermelon provides 21% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C, 18% of the VD for vitamin A, and significant levels of vitamin B6, lycopene, antioxidants, and amino acids. It is said to help with digestive health, skin and hair health, sun protection, weight loss and heart health. It also notes that watermelon production and consumption has seen a marked increase in the US in recent years.
The ingredient has also seen a recent boom in the beauty industry, which also adds to consumer’s perceptions of watermelon as a ‘better-for-you’ ingredient. Said to contain a cocktail of skin-nourishing ingredients, including citrulline, an amino acid that improves blood circulation and works as a natural exfoliator, alongside lycopene, a phytonutrient and an anti-inflammatory. Korean beauty brands in particular have been proponents of the trend, with beauty brand Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, attracting global headlines as a cult beauty buy.
A trending flavor in soft drinks too, US retailer Trader Joe’s has just added a canned Sparkling Watermelon Juice to its range, and is promoting it as part of an easy-to-make home cocktail with the addition of vodka, lime, and mint. Gatorade recently chose Watermelon Strawberry as one of three flavors for its first major new launch in 20 years, Bolt24, a low calorie electrolyte beverage aimed at athletes.
And a number of leading cocktail bars have also added watermelon to their menus of late. London’s Coupette launched its summer menu at the beginning of July, including the Watermelon Gimlet, which combines Bombay Sapphire, watermelon, and watermelon cordial.
Above all, the flavor conjures images of summer, and juicy refreshment, and it is these qualities that most of the brands in our round-up are tapping into, not only in their marketing, but in their recommended serves.
Expect more launches to come, with no-and-low alcohol products, especially RTDs, looking ever more likely.
Associated with light, summer refreshment, watermelon is a trending flavor for summer launches. Flavorsome, but not domineering, the fruity has proved a versatile addition across numerous categories, from white spirits, to beers and ciders. The fruit also has many health-claims, which appeal to consumers looking for ‘better-for-you’ ingredients. Watermelon also chimes with the continued popularity of pink-hued liquids, particularly in the gin category.
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