Surge in hard seltzer brands slow uptake

Beyond the US, UK and Ireland, White Claw is available in 15 markets, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Finland, with market share up for grabs in each.

“With beer as a major source of our volume, the category has great longterm growth potential,” says Nugent. “We believe that hard seltzers will continue to expand into more drinking occasions. One of the immediate growth frontiers will be the on-trade, particularly as venues are opening up after the pandemic.”

This has been the model in the States, hard seltzers gaining market share from beer. Now, in what must be directly in­fluenced by this, the category is becoming increasingly filled with brands launched by brewing giants. Molson Coors has launched Three Fold, Heineken has Pure Piraña, Constellation Brands with Corona Hard Seltzer, and Anheuser-Busch has launched a whole stable of hard seltzer brands. Nugent isn’t fazed. 

“We welcome competition, as it signals a healthy, growing category,” he says. “Brand proliferation will die down and the category will likely coalesce around a few major players. It’s in our interest to ensure that consumers adopt hard seltzers as part of their repertoire and key drinking occasions. Category buzz certainly aids that behaviour shift.”