Alcoholic Seltzer Trends: Current
Some of the biggest trends in the alcoholic seltzer category include the introduction of new hard seltzer flavors; the rise in acquisition of hard seltzer firms by major beer brands; and the increase in hard seltzer sales over major craft beer brand sales. These trends in the hard seltzer segment differ from the broader alcoholic beverage industry because they are recently introduced, offer multiple flavors, have proven health benefits, and feature higher growth in the last two years.
- Truly, White Claw, Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer, and Henry's are the four biggest alcoholic seltzer brands in the US.
- The hard seltzer segment grew by 185% over last year (as of May 2019).
- Overall, the malted beverage industry (which includes hard seltzer) grew by 0.9% from 2018 to February 2019.
- As of December 2018, hard seltzer sales were $488 million for the 52-weeks period, and sales are projected to reach $1 billion by the end of 2019.
- Hard seltzer is rising significantly in popularity, primarily due to low-calorie servings (less than 100 calories), health-conscious attitudes of consumers, and low alcohol by volume content (ABV).
- The popularity of hard seltzer has led the companies to introduce multiple new flavors and light alcoholic fruit concoctions to appeal to more consumers.
- Hard seltzer is a direct competitor to rose and sparkling wines; this summer, it is expected to dominate shelves with the introduction of new rose-flavored hard seltzer.
- Numerous large-scale beer companies have either made investments into the hard seltzer segment or are producing their own brands of hard seltzer. (source 6)
- Some notable brands by large-scale beer companies include the purchase of Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer by Anheuser Busch in 2016, Truly by Boston Beer Co; and Henry's by Miller Coors Brewing Co.
- There is a clear indication that hard seltzer has taken over the low ABV market, and has impacted the beer sales. In 2018, the beer sales remained flat at -0.7%, while flavored malt beverages (FMBs) including hard seltzer, witnessed a net growth of 10.2%.
- Alcoholic seltzers have also shown to impact the sales of craft beers; further, the sales of White Claw surged past nearly every craft beer sold in the United States.
- The alcoholic seltzer segment registered significant sales during summer as indicated by surges in sales in Q3 of 2017.
- A majority of hard seltzer consumer (53%) belong to the beer-drinking segment; hence, it indicates that people who drink beer are more likely to purchase hard seltzer or would eventually shift to the segment.
DIFFERENCES FROM THE ENTIRE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE INDUSTRY
- Hard seltzer is a combination between seltzer (a flavored carbonated drink) and fermented sugars (malts); while most other alcoholic beverages are fermented from other natural sources.
- Alcoholic seltzer has multiple fruit-based flavors, which is relatively uncommon in other alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, and other spirits.
- An increasing acceptance trend of alcoholic seltzer is the relative health benefits that the beverage has over beer and wine, and other low ABV drinks. Most alcoholic beverages have over 200 calories per serving, while hard seltzer averages around 100 calories or fewer.
- The substantial sales growth of alcoholic seltzer vastly differs in comparison to other low ABV beverages like beer and rose wine. The 193% rise in sales is unmatched, compared to any other beverage in the last two years.
We compiled this research by studying numerous credible sources like industry magazine publications, business publications, and food & lifestyle magazine publications. We started our research by focusing on the main trends of hard seltzer in the United States in the last two years. We were able to obtain several resources that corroborated similar findings; it helped us to ascertain the major trends in the segment. Next, we tried to uncover the major brands within hard seltzer and how the beverage became immensely popular in the past two years.
In our research, we found that one of the major alcoholic seltzer trends is the impact the beverage had on beer sales during summer months, which was noted across multiple industry news sites and publications. These trends are likely to exist because of the health benefits of hard seltzer like low calories, sugars, and alcoholic content. An analysis of advertisements from major beer companies, including Anheuser Busch and MillerCoors, has shown significant support towards these trends by the key players.