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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.

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TTB Approved 174K Products L12M through May 2021, A Decrease of -2.1K (–1.2%)

By Category:

  • Beer: 40.6K products approved over the L12M (–2.5% vs. last year) and 10.9K over the L3M (+12.1% vs. last year)
  • Spirits: 20.5K products approved over the L12M (+17.9% vs. last year) and 6K over the L3M (+25.3% vs. last year)
  • Wine: 112.9K products approved over the L12M (–3.6% vs. last year) and 35.3K over the L3M (+24.4% vs. last year)

By Origin:

  • Domestic: 95.2K products approved over the L12M (+3.9% vs. last year) and 27.2K over the L3M (+13.3% vs. last year)
  • Imports: 78.8K products approved over the L12M (–6.7% vs. last year) and 25K over the L3M (+32.5% vs. last year)

For more information regarding Product Approvals including detailed category breakdowns and origin information (State for Domestic products and Country for Imported products), subscribe to the bw166 Product Approvals Report or visit our website at www.bw166.com.

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TTB Approved 165.4K Products L12M through March 2021, A Decrease of -17.3K (–9.5%)

By Category:

  • Beer: 39.7K products approved over the L12M (–5.3% vs. last year) and 11.6K over the L3M (–1% vs. last year)
  • Spirits: 18.9K products approved over the L12M (+8.2% vs. last year) and 5.1K over the L3M (+9.8% vs. last year)
  • Wine: 106.9K products approved over the L12M (–13.4% vs. last year) and 30.2K over the L3M (+3.4% vs. last year)

By Origin:

  • Domestic: 92.7K products approved over the L12M (+0.5% vs. last year) and 26.8K over the L3M (+3.5% vs. last year)
  • Imports: 72.8K products approved over the L12M (–19.7% vs. last year) and 20K over the L3M (+2.2% vs. last year)

For more information regarding Product Approvals including detailed category breakdowns and origin information (State for Domestic products and Country for Imported products), subscribe to the bw166 Product Approvals Report or visit our website at www.bw166.com.

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TTB Approved 164.4K Products L12M through February 2021, A Decrease of -20.6K (–11.1%)

By Category:

  • Beer: 39.4K products approved over the L12M (–7.6% vs. last year) and 10.8K over the L3M (+6.7% vs. last year)
  • Spirits: 19K products approved over the L12M (+14.2% vs. last year) and 4.8K over the L3M (+32.9% vs. last year)
  • Wine: 106K products approved over the L12M (–15.7% vs. last year) and 25.3K over the L3M (–1.1% vs. last year)

By Origin:

  • Domestic: 91.9K products approved over the L12M (–1.3% vs. last year) and 24.2K over the L3M (+9.9% vs. last year)
  • Imports: 72.5K products approved over the L12M (–21.1% vs. last year) and 16.7K over the L3M (–3.5% vs. last year)

For more information regarding Product Approvals including detailed category breakdowns and origin information (State for Domestic products and Country for Imported products), subscribe to the bw166 Product Approvals Report or visit our website at www.bw166.com.

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Product Approval Trends Heading Into 2021

To coincide with the release of data concerning December 2020 Product Approvals, we thought we’d also highlight some of the interesting trends we’ve seen approved since October 2020. This information was gathered using our latest tool, Label Inquiry.

Lemonades

  • Diageo has received product approvals for Smirnoff Pink Lemonade Vodka (approved 12/3/2020) as well as Smirnoff Ice Pink Lemonade (12/8/2020)
  • Labatt Blue Light Seltzer Lemonade and also in Peach, Raspberry, and Black Cherry (approved 12/15/2020)

Alternative Packaging for Wines

  • Bota Box Breeze Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Red Blend, and Rose (low-calorie offerings from Delicato, approved 11/10/2020)
  • Constellation received approvals for Robert Mondavi Private Selection 1.5L Boxed Wine Buttery Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon (approved 10/7/2020) as well as Ruffino Pinot Grigio 1.5L Boxed Wine (approved 10/22/2020) and Ruffino Rosso 1.5L Boxed Wine (approved 10/6/2020)
  • Barefoot Fruitscato 3L Boxed Wine Sweet Strawberry, Sweet Blueberry, and Sweet (from Gallo, approved 12/8/2020)
  • Pool House by Francis Ford Coppolla canned wines in Pinot Noir, Rose, Brut Rose, and Sauvignon Blanc (featuring 75 calories per serving labeling) – also approved as 750ml (approved 1/14/2021)

Botanicals/Infusions

  • Belvedere Organic Infusions Vodka Soda (98 calories per can) in Blackberry & Lemongrass, Pear & Ginger, and Lemon & Basil (approved 12/17/2020). Belvedere also received approvals for the same infusions in an 80 proof Vodka format
  • Beefeater Botanics Blackberry Lemon & Thyme, Raspberry & Mint, and Lemon & Ginger (approved 10/28/2020).
  • Plant Botanical Vodka Seltzer in Strawberry Mint, Pineapple Lemonade, Blood Orange Lime, and Passion Fruit Pear (approved 12/28/2020)

Low-Calorie Offerings

  • This trend is prevalent across the board, especially within the seltzer/seltzer-like space where every product approved seems to convey how there are less than 100 calories per can/serving. Even wine products are entering this mix (including Bota Box Breeze and Pool House mentioned above)
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Elements in Papaya Jasmine White Blend, Strawberry Hibiscus Rose, and Peach Ginger White Blend (all marked as 90 calories per serving, approved 12/1/2020)
  • Kim Crawford Illuminate Sauvignon Blanc and Rose (70 calories per serving, approved 11/3/2020)

And now, our usual monthly update:

TTB Approved 164.1K Products L12M through December 2020, A Decrease of -15.6K (–8.7%)

By Category:

  • Beer: 39.8K products approved over the L12M (–3.3% vs. last year) and 9.6K over the L3M (–2.7% vs. last year)
  • Spirits: 18.4K products approved over the L12M (+15.1% vs. last year) and 5.2K over the L3M (+9.4% vs. last year)
  • Wine: 105.9K products approved over the L12M (–13.6% vs. last year) and 24.8K over the L3M (–6.5% vs. last year)

By Origin:

  • Domestic: 91.8K products approved over the L12M (+3.6% vs. last year) and 21.5K over the L3M (+5.7% vs. last year)
  • Imports: 72.3K products approved over the L12M (–20.7% vs. last year) and 18.2K over the L3M (–12.9% vs. last year)

For more information regarding Product Approvals including detailed category breakdowns and origin information (State for Domestic products and Country for Imported products), subscribe to the bw166 Product Approvals Report or visit our website at www.bw166.com.