It’s pretty obvious, when one walks down the beer aisle at the grocery store that hard seltzer is enjoying a fair share of the action these days. What started a niche with relatively little competition has become a powerhouse industry in its own right, with many companies competing to claim a stake. It has been forecasted that the hard seltzer market will reach a $30 billion threshold by 2025. Needless to say, there is a revolution happening in the beer industry, much of which can be attributed to bubbly water and fruity flavors.
- A Demand for Fantastic Flavor Many of the companies to have recently joined the seltzer niche have made big efforts to incorporate real fruit. Why? Natural flavors are generally considered favorable to fake or perfumy flavors. Also, there is the health conscious society to consider. Real ingredients and natural flavors are considered more trustworthy and therefore earn a stamp of approval from those seeking the best to put in their bodies. More importantly, there are a lot of people who don’t enjoy the hoppy, earthy aromatics of beer. For those who prefer a touch of sweet, but also want the ease of grabbing a can from the cooler, seltzer is the answer.
- Nostalgia Sells Many of the same flavors mentioned above have also won a fan base simply because they are reminiscent of the past. There is a real push taking place in the beer industry, which sees manufacturers finding ways to draw on the sellability of nostalgia. Seltzers are a big driving force.
- Low Cal is King As mentioned above, there is a movement that has taken hold over the past decade or two. People are making concerted efforts to drop pounds, get fit, and eat well. This has definitely extended into the beer industry, and seltzers are really shaking things up with their often super low calorie counts.
- Stepping Up the Style Seltzer companies have been in a race, trying to make brands and labels that will stand out, catching the attention of wandering eyes in the beer aisle. The energy drink industry has really inspired seltzer manufacturers, and many beer brands are finding themselves forced to participate.
What does all of this mean for those of us who love to craft more traditional brews? It simply means that we have to be a little more intelligent with our marketing to compete with the seltzers on the shelves. We’ve got to give the customer great flavor, fewer calories, a touch of the past, and we need to wrap it all up in an eye-grabbing graphic… or attempt to enter the seltzer market!