Hard seltzers deemed the official drinks of the summer

Quick notes

·         Millennials’ tastes have established a new contender for top-tier summer drinks.

·         The desire for hard seltzers says a lot about Millennial values.

·         Some brands find it difficult to keep up with demand.

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as drinking a hard seltzer while poolside. Just ask Millennials, the generational cohort responsible for creating the majority of demand for this emerging product category. Now, hard seltzers are the bonafide drinks of the summer.

Hard seltzer sales surpassed $1 billion during the last year, ending in August. The category now makes up 2.5% of the alcohol market, up from just 0.9% last year. Considering that seltzers are a much healthier alternative to other alcoholic beverages, these young folk may be on to something.

Seltzers taking the country by storm

What’s so hot about hard seltzers, you may ask?

Well, for one, the typical seltzer is a low-calorie favorite for summer drinks. Most 12oz varieties hover around 100 calories per can with just 2 grams of carbs and sugars in each serving. What’s more, these carbonated treats pack a punch with 5% ABV. Hard seltzers are found in a variety of fruity flavors such as lime, orange, raspberry, making them one of the most popular drinks of the summer.

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In comparison, the average craft beer (another Millennial favorite) can contain anywhere from 180 to 200 calories per 12oz serving, along with 10 to 20 carbs. Ouch. Considering many craft beers hover around 7% ABV – not much higher than the 5% for seltzers – the extra calories and carbs are rather unnecessary, especially when it comes to staying in shape with summer drinks.

In addition, the popularity of hard seltzers may also be due to increasing sales of sparkling water, like La Croix. Many Millennials report switching over to sparkling water to reduce their sugar and carb intake from soda.

White Claw announces nationwide shortage

If you didn’t believe the demand was high for hard seltzers, you will now. The industry leader, White Claw, recently reported a nationwide shortage of the popular drink.

“We are working around the clock to increase supply given the rapid growth in consumer demand,” Sanjiv Gajiwala, White Claw’s senior vice president of marketing, said. “White Claw has accelerated faster than anyone could have predicted.”

When you take a look at the numbers, it’s no wonder why White Claw has had trouble keeping up with Millennial summer drink demand. This past July, White Claw sales jumped up to $327.7 million, an increase of 283% over the same period in 2018. The White Claw brand has dominated the hard seltzer market with 55% of all sales in this product category.

“We are working around the clock to increase supply given the rapid growth in consumer demand,” Sanjiv Gajiwala, White Claw’s senior vice president of marketing, said. “White Claw has accelerated faster than anyone could have predicted.”

Given hard seltzers alcoholic content and health-conscious appeal, it’s no wonder the alcohol category surpassed the billion-dollar mark this last year. As we’ve seen Millennials curb other industries like transportation and social media, it’s about time they began influencing and innovating the summer drinks market, too.

So, kudos Millennials. You’ve created demand for some of the most health-conscious drinks of the summer.

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