By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A growing trend in alcoholic beverages: “hard” or “spiked” soda. It’s a drink that tastes a lot like a plain old soft drink flavor. The difference is it has booze.
When Sarah Sigro picks up drinks for hangouts with friends, she’s often choosing “root beer beer.”
“I like it because it’s delicious. Like, it is drinking an awesome childhood drink, but in an adult way,” Sarah said.
Mikey Zonenashvili likes it, too. “As someone who doesn’t drink much, I loved it,” Mikey said.
Sarah’s favorite is Not Your Father’s Root Beer, made by Small Town Brewery.
“We cannot keep up with the demand across the country,” said Aaron Sosnoski of Small Town Brewery, “and consumers are ranging from 21 years old all the way to 80 years old.”
There’s more where that came from. Other hard soda flavors: cherry cola, orange, lemon lime, ginger ale. Industry researchers are watching this market grow.
Brian Sudano of Beverage Marketing Corporation said, “I think the trend toward spiked sodas, it will happen and occur for the next year or two.”
These drinks appear to be popular with adults. But how about teens? Parents, experts say, need to warn their kids.
“Really talk and engage with teens that these drinks are alcohol. Regardless of what content they come in and how they’re packaged, but, it’s alcohol, and we want them to make the right choices by not consuming it if they are under the age of 21,” said Natasha Thomas of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The makers of Not Your Father’s Root Beer say they take underage drinking very seriously.
“We have 21-plus on all our packaging, and all our retailers then card, as well as bars,” said Aaron. They say these sweet sodas are adults-only.
Expect even more of these spiked soda products soon. More are coming on the market in early 2016.