Spotlight on Hard Seltzers and Ciders

seltzer bubbles

The only hurdle seemingly standing in the way of flavored malt-beverage (FMBs) or hard-seltzer consumption growth might be a lingering aluminum can shortage that, in part, stems from the production of, yes, hard seltzer brands themselves.

The prolific growth of FMBs helped undermine production of an array of canned beverages, including national beer and local crafts, in what was a supply-demand breach during mid- to late 2020.

The demand for all types of alcohol beverages spiked during the year of COVID-19. While beer case sales grew 8.9% in convenience stores in 2020, according to IRI data, one segment in particular—flavored malt beverages (FMBs)—posted nearly 60% unit growth.

In late February, Anheuser-Busch reported that sales at its “beyond beer” unit, which includes hard seltzers and ready-to-drink cocktails, grew double digits to top more than $1 billion.

Meanwhile, Smirnoff owner Diageo PLC in January reported a 47% jump in organic net sales for its ready-to-drink unit in North America over the last six months of 2020. The spirits giant launched a new seltzer under its Ketel One vodka brand late last year and said it plans to participate in the category in a bigger way in coming years.

Such action sets the for continued growth of a drink segment that is expected to grow 21.8% a year globally through 2024, taking share mainly from beer, as forecasted by industry tracker IWSR.

Click through for a look at eight recent FMB product launches across the burgeoning segment.

Photograph: Shutterstock

White Claw

White Claw Hard Seltzer Iced Tea

Mark Anthony Brands’ White Claw release White Claw Hard Seltzer Iced Tea in March. The new drinks are made with sustainably sourced brewed tea, according to the company. The drinks come in a 12-can variety pack with four tea flavors: Lemon, Raspberry, Mango and Peach.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Anthony Brands

Truly

Truly iced tea

A mix of hard seltzer, real brewed tea and fruit flavor, new Truly Iced Tea Hard Seltzers from Boston Beer Co. contain 1 gram of sugar and 100 calories per serving. The drinks have an ABV of 5%. Available nationwide in four flavors: Lemon, Raspberry, Peach and Strawberry. The product is available in variety 12-packs, as well as 16- and 24-ounce single-serve cans of Lemon Iced Tea.

Photograph courtesy of Boston Beer Co.

Vizzy

​Vizzy Hard Seltzer

Vizzy Hard Seltzer from Molson Coors Beverage Co. added a new variety pack with four new flavor combinations: Papaya Passionfruit, Blackberry Lemon, Watermelon Strawberry and Raspberry Tangerine. Each can of Vizzy contains 100 calories, 1 gram of sugar and 5% ABV, with variety packs delivered as 12-ounce slim can 12-packs.

Photograph courtesy of Molson Coors Beverage Co.

Blake’s Hard Cider

Blake’s Hard Cider

The first beverage introduction from its new Farm Stand Series inspired by the tradition of freshly picked produce, Blake’s Hard Cider released two lemonades in Blueberry Lemonade and Strawberry Lemonade flavors. At 6.5% ABV, the varieties are infused with real fruit and packaged in six-packs of 12-ounce cans. Blueberry Lemonade is also available in single-serve 16-ounce cans.

Photograph courtesy of Blake’s Hard Cider

Angry Orchard

Angry Orchard Peach Mango and Angry Orchard Strawberry

Boston Beer Co. has added Angry Orchard Peach Mango and Angry Orchard Strawberry to its line of hard ciders. The dinks combine bittersweet apples with peaches, mangos and strawberries for a naturally sweet cider and balanced finish, the company said. Both products have an alcohol volume (ABV) of 5% and are available in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans and 16- and 24-ounce single-serve cans.

Photograph courtesy of Boston Beer Co.

Vive

Fruit Punch Hard Seltzer

Vive Hard Seltzer launched a Fruit Punch Hard Seltzer variety pack. With an SRP of $15.99 per 12-pack, the variety pack includes four seltzer flavors: Original Punch, Southern Punch, Sunrise Punch and Tropical Punch.

Photograph courtesy of Vive Hard Seltzer

Bud Light Seltzer

Bud Light Seltzer

Bud Light Seltzer expanded its hard seltzer portfolio with the vacation-inspired Bud Light Seltzer “Out Of Office” seasonal variety pack with four new flavors: Watermelon Mojito, Classic Margarita, Mango Mai Tai and Strawberry Daiquiri. The limited-time release is available nationwide in 12-packs of 12-ounce slim cans through May 15.

Photograph courtesy of Anheuser-Busch

Rebel Hard Coffee

Hard Bourbon Caramel Latte

Twelve5 Beverage released limited-edition Rebel Hard Coffee springtime varieties in two flavors: Hard Bourbon Caramel Latte and Hard Irish Cream Latte. Hard Bourbon Caramel Latte brings together a trio of 100% Arabica coffee, caramel and smooth bourbon notes, according to the company, while Hard Irish Cream Latte offers notes of Irish whiskey paired with cooling coffee undertones. Both selections are made with 5% ABV and will be available until the end of April.

Photograph courtesy of Twelve5 Beverage