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Rose cider is here and it could be the millennial pink drink of this summer

  • Rose cider is inspired by the light and fruity elements of a rose wine and made with red fleshed apples that give it a bright taste and color.
  • Angry Orchard, MillerCoors, Strongbow and Bold Rock are just a few of the brands seeking to capitalize on the rose trend.
  • Combining trends like rose and millennial pink with cider is one way liquor companies hope to reignite sales.
Angry Orchard Rosé cider
Angry Orchard
Angry Orchard Rosé cider

Just in time for warmer weather, a number of liquor companies are launching rose hard cider, seasonal hard apple ciders with that familiar, rosy millennial pink hue.

Angry Orchard, MillerCoors, Strongbow and Bold Rock are just a few of the brands seeking to capitalize on the rose trend that swept up consumers last summer.

Angry Orchard's Rose cider is inspired by the light and fruity elements of a rose wine and made from six different apple varieties, including a red flesh apple that helps give the beverage its flavor and distinctive color, as well as a hint of hibiscus.

Similarly, MillerCoors, Bold Rock and Strongbow's rose ciders have an apple base, but also include ingredients like pears and rose petals.

"Rose is up on the bell curve, it's a prevalent trend, but it's not reached its apex," Ken Harris, managing partner at Cadent Consulting Group, told CNBC.

Rose wine was popularized on social media sites like Instagram and has been sold as regular wine, sparkling wine and in a frozen form called frose.

A number of trendy food items have catapulted into popularity because of their photo-worthy appearance. Items like rolled ice cream and inky black charcoal-infused foods are a visual spectacle and quickly gain attention and notoriety on the social media app.

Rose has the added benefit of coming in a shade that has become known as "millennial pink." The soft hue burst onto the scene sometime in the last three years and has been prominent in clothing, housewares and food ever since. It is a trendy, aesthetically pleasing tone that is associated with luxury and youth.

While rose only represents about 1.5 percent of the total table wine category, it's growing at a massive rate, according to Nielson. Rose sales climbed nearly 40 percent in the year ended Dec. 2, 2017, according to the market researcher.

Meanwhile, hard apple cider sales recently cooled their robust growth. The category saw massive growth since 2011. According to the United States Association of Cider Makers, cider sales in 2016 grew to $1.3 billion, a 473 percent increase over the five-year period.

However, like many products that see rapid sales growth, those sales eventually stagnate. Combining trends like rose and millennial pink with cider is one way that liquor companies hope to reignite sales.

"It's common refrain in the wine sector right now that drinkers are looking for a lower alcohol, more refreshing, food friendly product," Michelle McGrath, executive director of USACM, told CNBC via email. "Cider meets that criteria, so rose cider is a strategy to woo wine drinkers."

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