Food and Drinks

Cheers for Spiked Seltzers

It seemed spiked seltzers had a moment last summer – every barbecue and pool day was incomplete without a few cans. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting most Americans this year. This summer will be completely different.

Although White Claw and Truly were the first to enter the market, other brands have emerged and are joining the fray. Big beer brands like Bud Light, Corona and Natural Light have their versions of the sparkling beverage to compete for a share of this expanding market.

What is driving this trend?

  • Seltzers can be a great choice for those who are calorie-conscious. White Claw’s 100-calorie cans, compared to light beer options, contain 100 calories and are comparable to other light beers. However, they don’t leave you feeling bloated or hangover-prone.
  • They’re sweet but not sweet Sweet – Many people are trying to reduce their sugar intake, and many seltzer companies are taking advantage by promoting the drink’s lower sugar content. It’s water, so it’s healthy.
  • Spiked seltzers ride the (fizzy) wave – In recent years, double-digit growth has been experienced in the (non-spiked) carbonated water industry. GoPuff has seen sparkling water sales double in the last two months. Spiked seltzers, which are also showing a similar trend, are being preferred by more consumers to brands like La Croix or Bubly.
  • These aren’t just for cool kids. Although it may seem that spiked seltzers are only popular with college students at tailgates and other events, industry data shows everyone is getting on board the bubbly bandwagon. Seltzer is purchased equally by males and females, and seltzer drinkers switch from alcohol to beer, wine, and spirits.

There seems to be more to this beverage’s immediate popularity than its instant appeal – it is, for many, a more appealing choice than the alternatives.

  • It’s an alternative to hard liquor for those who feel it is too strong.
  • Beer can make you bloated. There are lighter alternatives.
  • Wine can make people sleepy, so it’s a great alternative.

Spiked seltzers are popular for “day drinking” and make for a more socially-distant hangout.

It’s also a crowd pleaser. Millions of people love the beverage, so you can pick up some spiked seltzers to make any event a success.

What’s the next step for the industry?

Seltzers arrived on the market at the “right” moment – they were able to take advantage of the growing trend in non-spiked seltzers and a rise in health-conscious consumer behaviour. However, based on everything we’ve seen, Seltzers won’t be going anywhere, and, if anything, we will see more of them in future.

We anticipate continued growth in spiked seltzer sales. This is GoPuff. About 25% of our alcohol sales were for hard or spiked drinks in April. We saw an approximately 200% increase in spiked and hard sales in April 2020 compared to January. It is worth noting that some of the sales growth is due to an increase in at-home alcohol consumption. This is due in part to Gopuff’s fast, on-demand delivery model. We expect this trend will continue long after stay-at-home orders end.

We will continue to add new brands to the market. Currently, most of our sales are for White Claw and Truly. However, due to the number of new players in the category, GoPuff is always expanding its product range – it currently has 43 hard and spiked brands. We’re seeing more brands entering the market and expect more craft brands to join the market to capitalize on its growing popularity.

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