Natty Light Now Comes as an 8% ABV Ice Pop
This is not your father's Natty Light (which, admittedly, is the Natural Light I grew up drinking). When Anheuser-Busch launched the brand back in 1977, it tasted like beer. And for generations, even Natty's spinoffs—like Natty Ice—tasted like beer. But recently, Natural Light has adopted a new identity. In 2019, the brand introduced a strawberry lemonade version called Naturdays. The fruity alternative proved popular, and Natural Light has since moved further in that direction: releasing a second Naturdays flavor, pineapple lemonade; a line of Natural Light hard seltzers; and a couple of boozy, 8-percent ABV Natty Daddy Lemonades.
But today, Natural Light has announced what may be the brand's biggest shift away from traditional beer: Naturdays Frozen Icicles, 8-percent ABV ice pops sold in Naturdays' signature varieties.
Natural Light says these alcoholic frozen treats will be hitting shelves nationwide this month, sold in 12-pop variety packs featuring a mix of Naturdays Strawberry Lemonade and Pineapple Lemonade beer flavors. A spokesperson for the brand told me that the pops are made with a flavored malt beverage base and will not be sold frozen: Customers will have to toss them in the freezer beforehand. Also worth noting, though the 8-percent ABV of the Icicles is significantly stronger than the beers themselves (liquid Naturdays are only 4.2-percent ABV), each ice pop is only two fluid ounces, meaning each pop is only the alcohol equivalent of about a third of a beer.
Daniel Blake, vice president of U.S. value brands at Anheuser-Busch, called these new ice pops "one of the most unique Natty innovations to date." He added via email, "We've seen that our consumer's drinking preferences are evolving, and they are looking for more variety and fun flavors to fit their different drinking occasions. With this in mind and as we approach summer, Naturdays Frozen Icicles will be the perfect, refreshing treat for those warm weather activities, and will also help introduce new drinkers to the broader Natural Light flavor portfolio."
In fact, this target market for Naturdays Frozen Icicles is written right on the packaging. "For those who like strawberry [or pineapple] lemonade and drinking beer and frozen icicles," each individual pop touts. And when you put it that way, the concept does suddenly sound a bit more awesome than simply, "Hey, we turned Natural Light into an ice pop!"
Speaking of which, to better promote the new product, Natural Light is also bringing back its paid intern program, looking for someone "to help launch new Naturdays Frozen Icicles and run a traveling lemonade shack." This Natty Lemonade Shack is set to start popping up at to-be-determined drinking destinations in June. But first, Natural Light has to pick its intern—which despite the name, is slated to make $40 per hour plus up to $25,000 in bonuses, according to the brand. Applications are only being accepted on social media: Interested candidates need to post a "sell us a Naturdays" 30-second sales pitch video using #NattyIntern and #Contest by May 2, 2021.