Spirits Lead the Acceleration in Seltzer/RTD Label Approvals

Label approvals for seltzer and seltzer-like products continue to accelerate in 2021. Currently in 2021, approvals are trending at 334 per month versus 228 approvals per month in 2020 (the TTB approved 2,002 labels in 2020 in total and has already approved 2,741 in 2021 through June). These trends continue to point to increasing fragmentation in the seltzer/RTD space and, clearly, many companies are chasing their share of seltzer’s phenomenal growth.

This acceleration in label approvals is driven almost entirely by Spirits-based products. Wine and Beer are seeing positive trendlines in approvals but nothing like Spirits products.

Vodka is the leading base spirit of label approvals in 2021 (YTD through June) with Whiskey/Bourbon and Tequila/Agave roughly tied for second. Gin and Rum products trail significantly behind (perhaps this is a manifestation of the overall popularity, or lack thereof, of these categories at large).

Citrus-based flavors tend to dominate the field (including, Lime, Lemon, Orange, and Citrus) coupled with the generic Fruit offering. In addition to flavors, also visible are typical RTDs and mixed drinks including Margarita, Mule, Manhattan, and Daiquiri.

More and more players continue to enter (or expand their existing portfolios) this space. Looking to the large spirits players alone, we’ve seen label approvals this year such as:

  • Absolut Vodka Soda – Lime & Cucumber, Raspberry & Lemongrass (all 2/10/21)
  • Bacardi – Bahama Mama (5/21/21), Mojito (4/22/21), Rum Punch (4/22/21), Sunset Punch (6/8/21)
  • Bombay Bramble Gin and Tonic – Blackberry & Raspberry (4/7/21)
  • Captain Morgan – Long Island Iced Tea (2/24/21), Mai Tai (2/28/21), Tropical Punch (2/18/21)
  • Casamigos Ranch Water – Grapefruit, Lime, Mango, Pineapple (all 3/3/21)
  • Crown Royal – Peach Tea (5/3/21), Whisky and Cola (3/8/21), Washington Apple (3/5/21)
  • Jose Cuervo Playamar – Mango (2/18/21), Black Cherry (2/18/21), Lime (1/27,21), Grapefruit (1/27/21)
  • Malibu Cocktail – Watermelon Mojito, Strawberry Daiquiri, Pina Colada, Pineapple Bay Breeze (all 3/24/21)
  • On The Rocks Cocktails (by Beam) – The Manhattan with Basil & Harden, The Old Fashioned with Knob Creek, The Aviation with Larios, The Mai Tai with Cruzan (all 6/8/21), The Margarita with Hornitos (6/15/21)

This above list represents a small handful of the many label approvals sought and granted to other suppliers all vying to break into this space.

All of this information was compiled using bw166’s Label Inquiry application. Please visit our Introducing Label Inquiry page for more details or contact us at admin@bw166.com if you have any questions on how this application can benefit your organization.