It seemed that spiked seltzers had a moment last summer – every barbecue and pool day was incomplete without a few cans. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting most Americans this year. This summer will be completely different.
Although White Claw and Truly were the first to enter the market, other brands have emerged and are joining the fray. Big beer brands like Bud Light, Corona and Natural Light all have their own versions of the sparkling beverage to compete for a share of this expanding market.
What is driving this trend?
- Seltzers can be a great choice for those who are calorie-conscious. White Claw’s 100-calorie cans, which have been compared to light beer options, contain 100 calories and are comparable to other light beers. However, they don’t leave you feeling bloated or hangover-prone.
- They’re sweet but not sweet Sweet – Many people are trying to reduce their sugar intake and many seltzer companies are taking advantage by promoting the drink’s lower sugar content. It’s water so it’s healthy.
- Spiked seltzers ride the (fizzy), wave – In recent years, double-digit growth has been experienced in the (non-spiked), carbonated water industry. Gopuff has seen sparkling water sales double in the last two months. Spiked seltzers, which are also showing a similar trend, are being preferred by more consumers to brands like La Croix or Bubly.
- These aren’t just for cool kids. Although it may seem that spiked seltzers are only popular with college students at tailgates and other events, industry data shows that everyone is getting on board the bubly bandwagon. Seltzer is purchased equally by males and females, and seltzer drinkers switch from alcohol to beer, wine, and spirits.
It seems that there is more to this beverage’s immediate popularity than its instant appeal – is for many a more appealing choice than the alternatives.
- It’s an alternative to hard liquor for those who feel it is too strong.
- Beer can make you bloated. There are lighter alternatives.
- Wine can make people sleepy so it’s a great alternative.
Spiked seltzers are a popular choice for “day drinking” and make for a more socially-distant hangout.
It’s also a crowd pleaser. The beverage is loved by millions of people, so you can pick up some spiked seltzers to make any event a success.
What’s the next step for the industry?
Seltzers arrived on the market in the “right” moment – they were able to take advantage of the growing trend in non-spiked seltzers, as well as a rise in health conscious consumer behavior. However, based upon everything we’ve seen, Seltzers won’t be going anywhere and, if anything, we will see more of them in future.
According to some estimates, it will be a 2.5 billion-dollar industry by 2021.
We anticipate continued growth in spiked seltzer sales. This is Gopuff. About 25% of our alcohol sales were for hard or spiked drinks in April. We’ve seen an approximately 200% increase in spiked and hard sales in April 2020, compared to January. It is worth noting that some of the sales growth is due to an increase in at-home alcohol consumption. This is due in part to Gopuff’s fast, on-demand delivery model. We expect this trend will continue long after stay-at-home orders end.
We will continue to add new brands to the market. At the moment, most of our sales are for White Claw or Truly. However, due to the number of new players in the category, Gopuff is always expanding its product range – currently we have 43 hard and spiked brands. We’re seeing more and more brands entering the market. We expect more craft-style brands to enter the market to capitalize on its growing popularity.