Stores Promote Their Increasingly Popular Hard Seltzer Options

Hard Seltzer

"Hard seltzers are a boon to the U.S. alcoholic beverage industry at large, and that’s shaking up the competitive landscape across the bar and restaurant scene. But while it’s hard to ignore the pace at which hard seltzers have upended the landscape, the growth has the potential to boost other alcoholic beverages as well." 

"In looking at the alcoholic beverage landscape, seltzers have created a massive disruption. According to findings from Nielsen CGA, the number of consumers drinking hard seltzers at bars and restaurants increased by 73% between the spring and fall of 2019: that’s equivalent to around 7.5 million new drinkers. And while some of the increase reflects the entrance of consumers who recently turned 21, most new hard seltzer drinkers are switching from other alcoholic beverages."

"Hard seltzers have disrupted the U.S. on-​premise (bars and restaurants) space so dramatically that weekly sales now surpass those of the entire pale ale beer category. Of the consumers who identify as hard seltzer drinkers, more than half (51%) said they are actively choosing seltzers over their normal drink of choice when they’re out of the house, with 52% selecting hard seltzer instead of beer and 40% doing so instead of cocktails. With more brands coming to market, Americans drinking healthier and seltzer marketing efforts taking media by storm, we expect the appetite for hard seltzers in bars and restaurants to continue growing, especially as nearly three quarters (72%) of hard seltzer drinkers in the U.S. on-​premise think they will become even more popular in the future, while fewer than one-​fifth (18%) view them as a fad."

"There is no denying that many consumers are reaching for hard seltzers instead of something else, but hard seltzers don’t have to be one-​trick ponies. As such a flexible drink virtually unaffected by seasonality (82% say it’s suitable for all four seasons), the hard seltzer category lends itself to a draft and mixer format. More than a third (36%) of consumers said they would drink it on draft — and within that population, 46% would enjoy it on its own, 35% would use it as a mixer in a cocktail and 33% would use it as a mixer with a spirit."

"This spells a big opportunity for spirit suppliers that could benefit from the growth of the hard-​seltzer-​as-​a-​mixer trend. When asked which spirit they’d pair with a hard seltzer, 69% of consumers said vodka, followed by 53% for rum, 52% for tequila and 45% for liqueurs and cordials. The consumer demand is there, which means that retailers, suppliers and distributors just need to understand the demand and deliver on the opportunity."

54.3% of Liquor Store Shoppers have a personal goal to eat healthier/​lose weight this year, according to AudienceSCAN. Liquor stores can let these consumers know that hard seltzers can help them achieve their goals without sacrificing their lifestyle.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on wine shops and liquor stores and supermarkets/​grocery stores, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-​op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.