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Hard Seltzers look set to shake up Summer 2020

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Hard seltzer served in a glass over ice with lemon garnish

Hard Seltzers are tipped to take the UK market by storm, repeating their tremendous success within the US market, where they were widely viewed to be the drink of summer 2019.  As industry experts are predicting that US sales will increase by a whopping 66% a year, reaching $2.5bn by 2021, (Beverage Daily, 2019) the UK is perfectly primed to follow suit.

So what is a Hard Seltzer?

In case you are not up to speed, a Hard or ‘Spiked’ Seltzer, is a mix of sparkling water, alcohol and juice or natural fruit flavourings.  To class Seltzers as ‘health products’ would be a step too far.  However, they do combine clean labelling with a touch of indulgence, offering the perfect serve for today’s increasingly health conscious consumers.  Health and wellness is the new ‘premium’.  It already crosses multiple sectors, so it was only a matter of time before it reached alcohol.  Check out our web page for more information.

A Low Sugar Serve

Sugar tops the list of nutritional concerns amongst the UK population, with 47% of consumers working to minimise their sugar intake (Mintel, 2018).  People are becoming increasingly informed about the high-sugar content of many mixers, beer, wine and fruit flavoured ciders.  With less than 1g/100ml of sugar and at under 100 calories/250ml serving Hard Seltzers offer a great tasting, lower sugar and lower calorie alternative.

Hard Seltzer or Hard Sparkling Water

Although the term ‘Seltzer’ is not widely used in the UK, alternative descriptors such as ‘Hard Sparkling Water’ are likely to give the consumer an easier understanding of the category.  This also builds on the recent popularity of sparkling water within the UK market. 

Unisex appeal amongst Millennials

Central to the popularity of Hard Seltzers is their appeal to both men and women alike. The core target audience is 21-34 year olds, for whom taking care of their bodies is a key priority.  However, its refreshing nature means the category is popular amongst all ages, with a survey by IWSR finding that 55% of American alcohol consumers drink hard seltzers once a week or more. (Beverage Daily, 2019) 

Fresh Flavours

Popular, clean and refreshing flavours include lemon, lime, mango and black cherry.  More exotic flavour combinations range from apple, ginger and acai berry to elderflower, lemon and mint.  There really is no limitation.  The number one US brand White Claw’s portfolio also includes ‘anti-flavour’.  This no flavour option is served as a base for other drinks, or consumed solo as an alternative to vodka and soda.  Typically, flavours have been reflected in the branding in the US, together with cues for hydration and clean labelling.  Consumer choice is set to increase further across the US, with the likes of MolsonCoors launching 'Vizzy Hard Seltzer' with added Vitamin C plus acerola cherry, which is crammed with anti-oxidants.  This is paving the way for new launches in the UK market, with flavour options that are almost endless.  If you are looking to add Hard Seltzers to your range, contact us today to arrange samples.

The Ultimate ‘On the Go’ Option

Typically packaged in cans and available as a 6-pack of assorted flavours, Seltzers are perfect for consumption whilst out and about, at festivals or by the sea.  However, there is still much potential for growth in the on-trade.

Lower Duty = Lower Price Point

Good news for vendors is that the Hard Seltzer will be taxed as a beer in the UK, unlike ready to drink spirit mixers and cocktails.  This will ultimately result in a competitive price point.  They are also excluded from the Weights and Measures Act, so there is no restriction on serving size.  This gives bartenders countless serving options with lots of opportunities to experiment.

Talk to us about your next project

Simpsons have developed and produced a huge range of syrups for bottlers and brands.  These are diluted and mixed with alcohol before packaging.  Are you looking to extend into the Seltzer space?  Simply let us know which flavours you require and we can arrange samples.  After that, we work with you to fine tune your range until you have the perfect product to launch.  All nutritional information and specifications are provided.  Chat with one of our NPD experts today

 

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