Hard seltzer category to triple in US by 2023By Melita Kiely
The hard seltzer category will more than triple in size in the US by 2023 to reach 281 million nine-litre cases, according to a new report by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.
The Hard Seltzer Report from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis shows the volume of hard seltzers – alcoholic sparkling waters – in the US is currently around 82.5m nine-litre cases.
Led by brands White Claw and Truly, the category is already larger by volume than the leading spirits category in the US – vodka.
The report said hard seltzers and other ‘seltzer-like’ products now account for 2.6% of the beverage alcohol market in the US – compared to 0.85% a year ago.
It also predicts that as more brands join the category, producers will look outside of the US for further growth, most likely in countries such as Canada, the UK, Australia and Brazil.
The report is the first study of its kind to define, examine and quantify the hard seltzer category.
Brandy Rand, COO of the Americas at IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, said: “Hard seltzers are far from a fad; they’re growing at a spectacular rate and increasingly, seltzer producers are pulling consumers from other beverage alcohol categories, not just beer.
“Combined, hard seltzers and other canned seltzer-like products (vodka soda, as an example) will drive the total ready-to-drink category, making it the fastest-growing beverage alcohol category in the US over the next five years, with potential to expand into other markets as well.”
IWSR also sought consumer opinions as part of the report, and discovered 55% of US alcohol drinkers consume hard seltzers at least once a week.
Furthermore, while the category seems to have particular appeal with younger generations, the research showed hard seltzers are proving popular across all ages and demographics.
The key characteristic consumers said they liked about hard seltzers was the category’s “refreshment”.
Rand added: “The rise of hard seltzers shows there was a segment of consumers underserved by the current beverage alcohol market who were looking for alternatives that were refreshing and flavourful, but also low-calorie and low-sugar.
“These products also meet the growing consumer demand for convenience and appeal to people that enjoy popular cocktails like the vodka soda, and wine spritzers. We definitely expect to see more brands, across the world, taking advantage of this fast-growing trend.”