INDUSTRY TRENDS: SUMMER OF THE HARD SELTZERS
Ain’t no laws when you’re drinking White Claws, right?
Well, no…despite this viral phrase that’s trending online and being overheard seemingly everywhere, White Claws don’t actually overcome any existing legalities (sorry to disappoint!). But, there is one thing that is true about White Claws: they are taking over the alcohol beverage market, along with other hard seltzers.
In fact, The Daily Beast concluded that White Claw outsold every craft beer according to most recent reported sales figures, even outselling Budweiser in the month of July. They also reported that White Claw is the top-selling hard seltzer, though there are many other brands in the market that are hoping to gain some traction with the increased popularity of this beverage category.
The summer of 2019 was TRULY a time for hard seltzers to shine, pun intended. Truly, White Claw’s top competitor with a 30% share of the market, promotes similar nutritional values that most health-conscious millennials are drawn to: gluten-free, only 100 calories, and 1 gram of carbs (verses White Claw’s range of 0-3 grams) per 12 oz can at 5% ABV.
Business Insider released an article comparing the two big brands here, ultimately concluding that White Claw was a fan favorite.
However, we encourage you to try them out for yourself, as each brand offers a fairly unique set of flavor profiles. While you’re at it, here are some other brands that may be worth a taste-test:
(And if you’re looking for a really wild time, Four Loko released a hard seltzer with 14% ABV. Err with caution.)
BON & VIV
So what exactly is hard seltzer, anyway?
While hard seltzer only more recently began gaining some serious traction amongst consumers, this beverage was first introduced to the market a few years ago in 2016.
Hard seltzer had previously been referred to more popularly as spiked seltzer, though this title erroneously implies that the beverage is, indeed, spiked. Instead of merely spiking a seltzer by adding in alcohol, however, hard seltzers are actually brewed through a unique Brewpure process with fermented, gluten-free grains. This produces a colorless, flavorless alcoholic liquid, which is then added to carbonated water with other simple ingredients. And alas, a hard seltzer is born.
Is hard seltzer here to stay, or is it just a trend?
This summer has proven hard seltzer to be a serious player in the game; the sales numbers and trending internet memes don’t lie. White Claw has even confirmed a nationwide shortage in the U.S., due to its rising popularity and unpredictable acceleration.
While some suspect this trend may die out or lose traction as the summer comes to a close, industry experts say otherwise. This beverage category has some serious staying power as a fresh alternative to vodka-sodas and light beers.
Moreover, there is still a vast number of people who haven’t yet hopped on the hard seltzer train, despite the large crowd of die-hard fans. Hard seltzer brands are still putting in efforts to increase brand awareness and introduce their product to consumers through in-store promotions and off-premise events.
There is also growing potential for hard seltzers to be sold at more bars and restaurants, in addition to its current dominant position at retail locations.
Therefore, it seems that hard seltzers aren’t going anywhere; though there may be a shift in market share as more and more brands come into the works and pose a competitive edge.
Cheers to that!
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