Summer 2019 is officially the summer of hard seltzer. Since Memorial Day, White Claw memes have captured the Internet’s attention in every which way, perhaps culminating in Trevor Wallace’s *drinks White Claw once* video that went viral before the 4th of July. It’s the go-to adult beverage for the calorie conscious and a refreshing respite from the craft beer world, which seems to gets more whimsical every day.
The hard seltzer space is white hot: Practically every single alcohol conglomerate has thrown their hat in the ring to capitalize on the trend, from Boston Beer Company’s Truly to MillerCoors with Henry’s Hard Sparkling and Cape Line to Anheuser-Busch’s Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer. White Claw, meanwhile, is owned by Chicago’s Anthony Brands, the makers of mike’s Hard Lemonade. Even comparatively small craft breweries like Oskar Blues are releasing low calorie, boozy sparkling water brands.
There are event hard seltzer koozies made just to keep the slim cans cold on hot summer days.
It’s practically minting money for the companies behind these brands, with the category doing an estimated $327.7 million in YTD revenue through July alone, according to CNN. That’s up over 200% compared to 2018.
Later this month, AB InBev is re-entering the space by releasing Natural Light Seltzer. Look for Natty Light hard seltzer EVERYWHERE in the United States very soon.
Capitalizing on the viral success of it’s strawberry lemonade Naturdays beer, the new Natty Light hard seltzer will be sold in packs of four AND 24 packs. Natty Light seltzer will come in two flavors: mango and peach (called: “Aloha Beaches”) and black cherry and lime (called: “Cataline Lime Mixer”). Natty Light seltzer will pack in about 130 calories and be 6% alcohol by volume, making it more alcoholic than other hard seltzers on the market.
Here’s the most important thing about Natty Light Seltzer: According to CNN, Natty Light will be pricing Natty Light seltzer at about a 20% discount compared to the leading brands like Truly and White Claw, making it appealing to the traditional Natty Light audience of economically-minded college students and post-grads.
Just in time for football season, get ready for Natty Light hard seltzer to be the next great tailgate season craze. They’re easy to drink, don’t leave you bloated like crushing beer does.
Anheuser-Busch is poised for Natty Light seltzer to be huge hit, saying loud and clear that the hard seltzer pivot is here to stay:
Ricardo Marques, Vice President of Core and Value Brands at Anheuser-Busch, tells CNN: “This is not a fad… This is here to stay.”
Adding to WSJ:
“The key word here is portfolio,” said Ricardo Marques, vice president of marketing for the brewer’s value brands. “There’s a gap in the market that Natural Light Seltzer can address.…We believe this is an offering that will disrupt the segment.”
And back to CNN:
Hard seltzer has mostly become popular on the coasts, Marques said. There’s “a ton of runway” in the rest of the country, as well as in coastal regions, he added. AB InBev believes that Bon & Viv, which Marques noted is “growing rapidly,” will continue to gain traction among health-conscious drinkers looking for beverages lower in alcohol, sugar or calories. The new product will bring in a new audience more focused on budget.
Personally, I can’t wait to try it. I became a big Naturdays fan this summer. As a big fan of other hard seltzers, I’ll have a Natty Light seltzer review here on BroBible as soon as I can get my hands on some – hopefully that’s very, very soon.