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Is Alcoholic Seltzer the Next Big Thing?

We probably have La Croix to thank for this trend

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Last year, flavored seltzer was declared the new soda, thanks to the popularity of brands like La Croix and Topo Chico. So, now that some time has passed, what’s the new flavored seltzer? Flavored seltzer with booze in it, of course.

According to Bloomberg, the rise of alcoholic seltzer drinks can at least be partly attributed to the rise of fitness culture. Many of the fizzy, alcohol-infused drinks soon to hit shelves come with half the calories of standard cocktails, and ingredients like cane sugar and “natural” flavors.

MillerCoors counts two healthy-sounding alcoholic drinks among its roster: Easy Tea and Zumbida Mango, the latter of which is a fruit-flavored fermented drink (perfect for the kombucha-swilling crowd). Meanwhile, Smirnoff will soon introduce a Spiked Sparkling Seltzer line — not to be confuse with SpikedSeltzer, a brand already sold in Whole Foods and Target stores that touts itself as “all natural, low carb, and gluten-free” (and contains six percent alcohol, right on par with most beers).

As Vox notes, La Croix’s popularity has a lot to do with health-mindedness — carbonated water is viewed as a healthier, and still inexpensive, alternative to soda. Carbonated, fruit-flavored seltzer spiked with alcohol seems like a natural extension of that trend.

Alcoholic seltzer also calls to mind another recent beverage trend trend: hard soda. Adult versions of childhood classics, like easy-to-chug alcoholic root beer, are finding an audience — and big sales growth — with drinkers looking for something new. Only time will tell if boozified seltzer can resonate in the same way.

Big Alcohol Tries to Go on a Health Kick [Bloomberg]

Big Beer Hopes to Lure Millennials With Hard Soda [E]

More Booze News [E]