“Natural Light is constantly looking to innovate to meet the evolving flavor preferences of our fans. Nothing is off the table,” Daniel Blake, AB InBev’s group VP for Budweiser and value brands, said in a statement. “Flavored vodka is one of the fastest-growing segments in spirits, and we knew Natty was the brand to show up to the party with a great tasting offering to set us apart.”
The drink continues an aggressive slate of line extensions for Natty Light, which debuted in 1977 as Anheuser-Busch’s first reduced-calorie light beer (Bud Light came out in 1982). The onslaught began in 2019 with Naturdays, a strawberry lemonade flavored beer whose branding includes plenty of pink flamingos. Later that year, Natural Light Seltzer made its debut. More recently the brand has come out with Naturdays Frozen Icicles, Natural Light Sour Seltzers and Naturdays Pineapple Lemonade.
The vodka line extension is yet another example of how lines are blurring in the beverage industry, as brewers continue to experiment with liquor and spirits makers get into the hard seltzer game. There is even cross-pollination between soda and alcohol, as evidenced by Hard Mtn Dew, an alcoholic version of the PepsiCo soda created in partnership with Boston Beer Co. that is set to hit shelves next year.
Alcohol trade publication Beer Business Daily has coined it “The Great Convergence,” noting in a recent report that “it has become clear: Beverages—beer, wine, spirits, malt-based seltzers, spirit-based RTDs, wine-based RTDs, hybrids, non-alc—are all converging into one market with an overlapping consumer, and distribution is following suit.”
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