When drinking alcohol, the usual options of Heineken, Corona, or Bud Light comes to mind. However, a new beverage is taking over and it may already be the top alcoholic beverage to drink right now.
It is the hard seltzer, also known as a spiked seltzer or hard sparkling water.
The drink is a blend of carbonated water and alcohol with added fruit flavors. Some common flavors include lemonade, strawberry, mango, watermelon and pineapple.
The alcohol by volume in these drinks is between four and six percent. Popular brands like White Claw and Truly come in at five percent alcohol by volume (ABV) which is the same for a standard beer like Heineken.
Despite this, popularity rose due to it being a healthy alternative to beer. Hard seltzer’s are lower in calories, carbohydrates and sugars than its counterpart.
In an article published by Classic-Brands Budweiser, “What Are the Differences Between Hard Seltzer and Beer?” the beer distributor explains how the sugars are eventually turned into alcohol, hence the low sugar content.
The reason behind this is manufacturers for hard seltzers use cane sugar that is then fermented into alcohol while beer uses malted grains like barley or wheat which makes for a lingering sweetness.
Also, this means that hard seltzer’s are found to be gluten-free and are considered vegan-friendly.
Millennials are leading the way as the trend of hard seltzer’s grows rapidly. College students here at UNLV have heard of the drink and some have tried it.
“I would say it tastes just like soda but with just alcohol,” UNLV student John Nguyen said. “I like it mainly because of the fruit flavors.”
UNLV student Adrian Ramos mentioned that he discovered the drink from his cousin during a party.
“It was a Truly and I have liked them ever since then… My family and I buy a case of it for whenever we have a barbecue,” Ramos said.
Hard seltzer’s can be seen a lot in grocery stores these days and expect them to be at parties more than ever.
The boom in popularity and sales started in 2019. This was during the time sparkling water became popular and the eventual emergence of the popular White Claw brand.
The pandemic also saw a significant increase in people changing their alcohol drinking habits with the hard seltzer trend.
A research report made by Grand View Research saw more consumers reducing their alcohol consumption. Using a survey from the IWSR, Grand View Research reported 52% of alcohol consumers were trying to reduce consumption as of 2019.
For sales, according to a marketing research report made by IMARC, the global hard seltzer market reached a value of $5.5 billion in 2021. This number is expected to reach $11.9 billion by 2027.
The rise of hard seltzer’s came out of nowhere but it seems like sales have shown that will not stop it from growing immensely.
With the projected growth of sales in years to come, a considerably healthier drink than beer and in a world where despite a pandemic is still going on, it is safe to say that hard seltzer’s will continue to be sought after.