Premium soda brand Joia has introduced a new line of canned premixed cocktails that the company describes as combining “the best of two major beverage trends: the craft distilling craze and the recent trend towards hard sodas.”
Joia Spirit will debut this week at the upcoming National Restaurant Association show in Chicago and is available in three varieties — Cosmopolitan, Greyhound, Moscow Mule — each made with the brand’s mixologist-inspired sodas and premium vodka. The drinks are 6-7 percent ABV.
Joia co-founder and CEO Bob Safford described the brand extension as “a natural evolution” for the company, which launched in 2011 with an array of all-natural sodas formulated with fruits, herbs and spices. The sodas, which include a grapefruit, chamomile and cardamom variety and one made with ginger, apricot and allspice, are distributed nationally at natural and conventional grocers. Safford said that because many Joia consumers have used the sodas as cocktail mixers, the company saw an opportunity to create a convenient premixed option.
Moreover, Safford cited “lots of activity in the space with the explosion of hard soda and a few RTD craft cocktails” as spurring the development of Joia Spirit. He noted that the new cocktails are designed to be higher quality and better tasting than malt-based products on the market.
“We do not believe most of the malt-based products taste very good,” Safford said. “We believe it’s the logical next step of the trend moving from craft beer to craft distillery and now to RTD cocktails with great taste, higher quality natural ingredients and on the go convenience to fit with millennials’ lifestyles.”
Although the premium set of premixed cocktails is still in its infancy, Safford believes that it will eventually be “bigger than craft soda.”
“An explosion in food service will significantly expand the scope of craft sodas,” he said. “But bringing innovation to the RTD cocktail space with the best tasting spirit-based drink is an even bigger opportunity that is distinct from and protected a bit from many of the other trends affecting the beverage category today.”
Joia Spirit will launch in select markets in July, including Minnesota, where Joia is based. The drinks will be sold in single 12 oz. cans for a suggested retail price of $3.99 and in 4-packs for $14.99.