Lipton's First Alcoholic Tea Is Out To Compete With Twisted Tea

One of the top tea manufacturers in the United States, Lipton unveiled today its integration into the adult beverage market. As of National Tea Day, April 21, its new hard tea is available in lemon, peach, strawberry, and half-and-half. Each can contains 5% ABV, and they can be purchased in a 12-pack or as individual, 24-ounce cans. Non-carbonated, the drinks are naturally flavored to mimic their non-alcoholic counterparts taste-wise.

Given Lipton's popularity in the tea industry, these new beverages might be a good contender for Twisted Tea. Spearheaded by Boston Beer Company, Twisted Tea released its original concept over 20 years ago, and today, it dominates 93% of its market. Currently, the radar shows no signs of slowing success, as the company's sales increased by nearly 30% from 2020 to 2021. To fully understand how the concept gained its chokehold on the industry, you'll have to first understand what makes spiked tea so desirable.

Taste and alcohol content might aid in hard tea's desirability

Often, the thing that makes a product different is what makes customers seek it out. According to Owl's Brew founder Maria Littlefield, this could prompt customers to swap their hard seltzer for a spiked tea. "Seltzers stripped away what people didn't want, like carbs. And now with hard tea, we're adding back in flavors and real ingredients while keeping it low-calorie and low-sugar," she said (per Inside Hook). Furthermore, light drinkers might seek out a hard tea due to its comparatively low alcohol content. "People want to have a couple drinks rather than one strong drink," Vicky Berry, business development manager of Synergy Flavors, explains. Of course, some people simply prefer the taste of tea over beer, seltzer, and hard liquor.

Truthfully, this might have been the perfect time for Lipton to drop its products. One year ago, a Reddit user asked the platform for a Twisted Tea replacement suggestion, citing high carbs and calories as the reason. At the time, repliers recommended making their own sugar-free mixed drink. Next time, though, the votes might go in favor of Lipton's new drink only for adults.