Nothing in life is certain except death, taxes, and humankind’s ability to make some buck wild beverages. The latest innovation in drink science? VIVE’s pumpkin spice hard seltzer which is set to hit stores in just a few weeks. Is it a blessing? Is it a curse? Is it already on your shopping list?
Hard seltzer company VIVE is to thank and/or blame for the buzzword of a beverage. They announced the new pumpkin spice hard seltzer in an Instagram post noting that the limited-edition flavor would be released in mid-September. Thus, a new season has been created. When summer is coming to a close but it’s not quite fall yet, that is Pumpkin Spice Seltzer Season. It’s autumnal! It’s summery! It’s like wearing a cardigan to the pool: confusing, uncomfortable, something no one asked for and yet, now that you've heard it, you can't stop thinking about it.
As its name suggests the VIVE Hard Seltzer Pumpkin Spice will combine the classic notes of pumpkin spice with the bubbly hard seltzer you’ve come to know and love. Like its spiked seltzer siblings, the pumpkin spice hard seltzer will have a 5% ABV and be low in calories.
The bad news — or good news depending on your stance — is the new pumpkin spice hard seltzer will only be available in a handful of states. If you live in Ohio, Kentucky, or Tennessee, congratulations! Come mid-September you will be able to find these delicious abominations at your local Kroger. Each six-pack will go for $9.99 and your last shred of dignity.
I supposed this was all inevitable. As CNBC reports, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is the chain’s most popular seasonal drink having sold roughly 424 million sold worldwide as of 2019. Multiply that by $4 (the average cost of the PSL) and you have a literal billion-dollar drink.
The reign of hard seltzers is equally as strong with a recent Nielsen report saying that hard seltzer “defies categorization.” Its dominion has grown stronger during the pandemic, with Nielsen reporting an increase in $900 million over the same period last year. Between June 2019 and June 2020, we collectively bought over $2.7 billion worth of hard seltzer.
Perhaps the new pumpkin spice and hard seltzer hybrid will be for the better. Perhaps it will unlock some level of humanity we've yet to achieve, one that allows cross-seasonal beverages to live in harmony. If nothing else, it will be something new and innocuous to fixate on in this hellscape of a year.