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Hard Seltzers Compete With New Product Introductions - 11 24 2020 2 11 59 PM

The pandemic benefited the growth of hard seltzer by limiting the shelf placement for new hard seltzer products in the early months of the pandemic.

Packaged goods stores struggled to keep up with consumer grocery demand, and resetting shelves was pushed out. The pandemic also drove a shift to off-premise alcohol purchases, which benefited the hard seltzer category, which has a lower on-premise mix.

In 2021, we should see the number of new products gain share as the category matures. The growth in seltzer/spritzer products was explosive in the beer category in 2019, but in 2020 the number of spirits-based seltzers has overtaken the beer category, as seen in the chart below. Spirits-based products have seen the largest increase in product approvals, with 150 new products YTD through October 2020 (vs. 55 in 2019).

There have been 128 new beer-based products  YTD (vs. 102 in 2019). Wine-based products have seen a slight uptick to 71 new products (vs. 41 in 2019). In many states, the distribution of spirits-based seltzers is limited to liquor stores, but spirits-based drinks have a small nutritional advantage.

Liquor based seltzers do not have any carbs and sugars because it is not brewed like hard seltzers. Beer Business Daily says “ranch water” could be the next big thing in alcoholic beverages.

The drinks are basically tequila/agave themed seltzers made popular by Topo Chico drinks. Anheuser Busch InBev is betting on the trend with Ranch Water Hard Seltzer.

Hard Seltzers Compete With New Product Introductions - JYR