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US hard seltzer sales will ‘far surpass’ 281m cases in 2021

The hard seltzer category will “far surpass” an initial forecast of 281 million case sales in the US by 2023 two years early, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

White Claw is the leading hard seltzer brand in the US

In 2019, IWSR predicted hard seltzer sales in the US would more than triple to 281m nine-litre cases by 2023.

However, speaking to The Spirits Business in March this year, Brandy Rand, chief operating officer of the Americas at IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, said: “The category will far surpass this by 2021.

“The rapid growth outpaced expectation, accelerated by Covid and also buoyed by continued new product innovation, not only from big brands, but domestic craft players.”

White Claw, owned by Mark Anthony Brands, has spearheaded the category’s success in the US. In the past year, the brand has expanded outside of the States to Australia and the UK.

Many other leading producers have also entered the growing category, comprising flavoured alcoholic sparkling waters, including Brewdog, Jose Cuervo, Smirnoff, East London Liquor Company, and celebrities such as chef Gordon Ramsay and rapper Travis Scott.

Rand said: “The category is driven by flavour – period.

“While many brands have better-for-you attributes, consumers say they choose brands based on flavour first, and have a higher perception of premium RTDs based on flavour.

“These sensorial aspects – flavour, refreshment, easy to drink – are key to the success of the category.”

For an in-depth look at the hard seltzer category, see our report in the April 2021 issue of The Spirits Business magazine.

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