Some insights surrounding the hard seltzer category include healthier alcoholic options, convenient packaging, high demand during summers, gender-neutral alcoholic beverages, and alcoholic beverages that resonate with the needs of younger generations.
#1. Healthier Alcoholic Options
- According to a survey report by Arctic Summer, 38% of the respondents to the survey claimed that they perceived hard seltzers as healthier alcoholic options. This insight is important in enabling brands to innovate and produce options that provide better benefits to consumers.
- The increasing popularity of hard seltzer has been largely impacted by the recent trends of consumers, particularly Millenials, who have shifted their focus toward better and "more health-conscious drinking habits".
- The popularity has also been fueled by Millenials preference for beverages that have low-alcohol volume.
- Generally, hard seltzer beverages are characterized by low calories of between 90-100 calories per serving. They are also low in sugar ranging from zero sugars to about 4 grams per can and contain about 4-6% alcohol by volume.
- Kelly Pritchett, an Associate Professor of Nutrition at Central Washington University, noted that hard seltzers have become more popular among health-conscious consumers because of their health benefits that resonate with the preferences of consumers as opposed to other alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine or rum.
- In addition, hard seltzer brands have been luring consumers with the fact that these products contain natural flavors such as ruby grapefruit and pomegranate, as well as the idea that these beverages are ideal for consumers living active and healthy lifestyles.
- For instance, Truly, claims that its 12-ounce can contains 100 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of carbs.
#2. Convenient Packaging
- According to a report by Good Beer Hunting, hard seltzers have relied on the intersection of several current consumer trends including convenient packaging and sessionability.
- Most hard seltzer brands have been capitalizing on convenient packaging in cans that appeal to consumers.
- The report noted that hard seltzer brands have adopted convenient packaging from several attributes that are currently popular with consumer packaged goods.
- Besides, emerging brands in the hard seltzer market have been emphasizing the health benefits of their products by clearly labeling the nutritional facts that include low carbs, low sugars, lack of gluten, and low calories on the packaging.
- Convenient packaging has played a fundamental role in marketing these beverages because they have a direct connection with packaging attributes that are already popular with consumers.
- White Claw is an example of a brand that has appealed to many consumers due to its convenient packaging.
#3. Summer Sales Spike
- According to 2019 adult beverage market data published by Nielsen, the sales of hard seltzer experienced a growth rate of 164% in July. Besides, during the same time frame in 2018, sales increased by almost 200%.
- Hard seltzers increased demand in summer is attributed to the fact that these beverage drinks are marketed as favorable for outdoor parties. Summer being a period when most Americans venture outdoors contributes to the sharp rise in sales of hard seltzers.
- In the of 2019, the sale of hard seltzers skyrocketed in the summer of 2019, and some brands such as White Claw ran out of stock due to the high demand.
- White Claw, which has the largest market share in the hard seltzer market, experienced growth in sales by over 265% in the summer of 2019, compared to the same period last year.
#4. Appeal Across All Genders
- Traditionally, beer drinking was associated with men while women were associated with drinking wine.
- Targeting a gender-specific market meant that brands were alienating a large portion of their customer bases.
- However, hard seltzer brands were able to overcome this setback by producing alcoholic beverages that were considered ideal for both genders.
- According to a 2019 survey study by Bank of America that analyzed the drinking preferences of Millennials, it was found that there was a "clean 50-50 split in younger consumers of hard seltzer".
- Sanjiv Gajiwala, the Marketing Vice President of White Claw, claims that the idea behind the brand was to produce an alcoholic beverage that addressed a new set of gender norms. This meant that the brand would be gender-neutral and appeal to both men and women.
#5. Popular Among Younger Generations
- The rapid adoption and popularity of hard seltzers have also been linked to its target customer base that includes Millenials and Gen Zers.
- According to the survey by Bank of America, hard seltzers accounted for about 21% of the overall Millennial alcoholic beverage consumption in 2018.
- The younger generations have played a fundamental role in the craze of hard seltzers by popularizing different seltzers brands on social media.
- According to a report by CNBC, during the summer of 2019, the younger generations published millions of memes and posts that were trending on social media and greatly helped to hype the popularity of hard seltzers.
- For instance, a YouTube video published by comedian Trevor Wallace during summer was able to garner over 3 million views and over 62k likes.
- White Claw is one of the hard seltzer brands whose popularity skyrocketed as a result of a strong social media presence that included creative memes and also a parody video of the brand.