Sometimes media releases land on my desk that I am sure are designed solely to make my head explode.
This is one such release.
I have no idea how Hard Iced Tea tastes, but from the media release taste doesn’t seem in anyway relevant. The marketing offers a hodgepodge of confused and unsustained claims that seems to want to make it appeal to beer drinkers, while at the same time trashing beer and making vague claims of its own ‘healthfulness’.
The marketers want to make it sound like beer (it “has similar characteristics to beer”), but at the same make it sound nothing like beer. I’m not sure where any comparison to beer could come from as, apart from being made on brewing equipment, it has no common ingredients to beer. After speaking with Managing Director Andy McCutcheon, I understand that it is made by steeping tea in a hot sugar solution and then fermenting it. Consequently it is taxed as an RTD, rather than beer.
Despite wanting to claim similar characteristics to beer, it also want to differentiate itself from beer which apparently has “high levels of carbohydrates, sugar and gluten”. While beer does indeed contain gluten, it is actually comparatively low in carbohydrates. The most disappointing thing about this claim is that the hard iced tea is produced at Mt Tamborine Brewery, whose owner is involved in the iced tea company. It seems an odd strategy to trash one product to boost another.
Even so the carb story seems quite confused for Hard Iced Tea too. The media release just claims that it is “without the high levels of carbohydrates” found it beer, while the website landing page claims to it is “low carbs” and “low sugar”, then the About Us page claims that it contains “NO carbohydrates”. Finally the Facebook page claims it has “75% less carbs than a ‘low carb’ beer and 50% less sugar”. There’s something for everyone there.
It will be most interesting to see how they go with their claims about the drink’s antioxidant qualities. The media release claims the product retains “the antioxidant qualities that tea is famous for”, the webpage claims that it is “naturally antioxidant rich” and the Facebook page states it “contains all of the antioxidant goodness that tea is famous for”. When I spoke with Andy McCutcheon and asked whether the product had been tested for its antioxidant properties, or whether he was just relying on the perceptions of tea as being antioxidant rich, he advised, ” I don’t know the volume of antioxidants in it”.
Irrespective of the volume of antioxidants that actually inhabit the product, the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code prohibits making claims about the therapeutic benefits of alcoholic beverages. The quantities of antioxidants in any alcoholic beverage will be so low that before they can have any therapeutic affect, you will consume an unhealthy amount of alcohol. Of course, the ABAC scheme is a quasi-regulatory system for alcohol advertising and their decisions are only binding on members. So we’ll never know whether saying “as consumers become increasingly conscious of their health” this is a “pure, naturally refreshing and healthful way to enjoy an alcoholic beverage” breaches their guidelines.
I can’t be bothered going on. I have wasted enough time on this already and the more that I think about this the more I despair and want to sit and suck my thumb while I quietly rock in the corner. No doubt it will be successful.
In the face of slumping beer sales globally, it seems the (Brisbane) Queensland based, ‘Hard Iced Tea Brewing Company Pty Ltd’ have met the growing needs of consumers sophisticated palates with the release of their new, World first, patented alcoholic beverage range called, ‘Hard Iced Tea.’®
Unlike other malt based tea flavoured beverages available elsewhere. – ‘Hard Iced Tea’® is made from, well…TEA.
Its unique manufacturing process produces a unique and refreshing taste experience that has similar characteristics to beer – but without the high levels of carbohydrates, sugar and gluten present in cereal grain based drinks – all the while retaining the antioxidant qualities that tea is famous for.
With an increasingly health conscious population ‘Hard Iced Tea’® now provides a sustainable alternative in the alcoholic beverages market that appeals to a much wider consumer audience, including the 75% of women who are currently not beer drinkers.
A recent visit to the brewery from Asian singing sensation Olivia Ong catapulted awareness of ‘Hard Iced Tea’® to 250,000 of her fans in a Facebook frenzy that continues to drive consumer demand for the product amongst retailers, where response at the bar has been overwhelming and is now capturing between 10% – 12% of beer market share.
With that sort of an impact in a global beer market worth USD$525 Billion, it’s no wonder they have been fielding enquiry from companies such as Coca-Cola Amatil and Woolworths Liquor Group here in Australia while garnering interest amongst potential overseas licensees in Europe, North America and Asia.’
Last week, Managing Director Andy McCutcheon announced, the company has recently agreed to a commercial arrangement with Australian Trade Partners Pty Ltd for national distribution of their products in Australia.