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‘It’s going to be a big summer for Hard Seltzer’

Music should be pumping, and burgers and jerk chicken wings fly out of the kitchen this weekend at Rambler Kitchen and Tap in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood.

To clear Customers may drink one of 20 mixed drinks or craft beers at the bar. But many will order the hard-glazed Rambler. It is estimated to sell nearly 500 cans in flavors such as peach, pineapple and grapefruit.

“We will be selling real White Claw and Seltzers,” said Rambler co-owner Sam Stone. “It will be a big summer for the hard seltzer.”

Memorial Day weekend begins. What many hope will be a more normal summer as children begin counting down the number of days left at school. People headed back to the beach and fired up for the backyard party that went shit last year because Great outbreak. and for the hardware industry It was the beginning of a dizzying moment as dozens of new and old competitors vie for the spirits and bubbles of the season.

NielsenIQ, the more grown-up cousin to the fizzy soda LaCroix, the hard liqueur became familiar before the pandemic. It made about $500 million in sales in 2018, according to NielsenIQ. When people can’t go to their favorite bars and restaurants So they picked up cases and cases of drinks at the liquor and grocery store. Resulting in revenue soaring over $4 billion in 2020

RBC Capital Markets analyst Nik Modi noted that hard seltzers are popular in group rallies. Most of which didn’t happen last year.

“This summer,” Modi said, “it will be a completely different football game.” Annual sales are forecast to reach $8 billion over the next four years.

Boston Beer Chief Executive Dave Burwick told CNBC last year that the growth of hard seltzers was the biggest change in the beer industry. Since light beer’s widespread debut in 1970, Boston Beer, the company behind Sam Adams, has also made Truly Hard Seltzer.

While White Claw and Truly – hard seltzer’s Coca-Cola and Pepsi – capture about 70 percent of the market, everyone wants to take action, which comes from staggering growth. The old beer company Spirit giants, winemakers and others are fermenting sugar solutions and adding seasonal flavors like watermelon, black cherry. and strawberry lemonade to create mouthwatering ingredients (Interested in passion fruit-orange-guava?) They also try to outdo each other by creating new variations, such as so-called spiced dishes that use rum or tequila. Antioxidant-rich setts, or even “hard coffee.”

Boston Beer launched Truly Iced Tea Hard Seltzer this year and a few weeks ago launched an ad campaign with British pop star Dua Lipa. This spring, hip-hop star Travis Scott launched Cacti, a drink made with blue agave syrup, in collaboration with Anheuser-Busch Sold out quickly in many areas.

Marcel Marcondes, Head of Marketing at Anheuser-Busch said: “People line up to buy cacti and share pictures of themselves with carts full of cacti.

This spring, the Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is also debuting. The Coca-Cola and Molson Coors Beverage partnership is available in 16 markets across the country, chasing Topo Chico’s caustic soda cult in the south.

“I felt like I could walk into a party saying, ‘Oh yeah, I brought Topo Chico,’” says 32-year-old Dane Cardiel, who works in business development for a podcast company and lives around Esopus, NY. 60 miles south of Albany

The fact that flavored sodas have become a national phenomenon is partly due to viral social media videos and clever marketing that sells hard drinks as an alternative to alcohol. “Good for health”

White Claw’s slim cans clearly state that the drink has just 100 calories, is gluten-free, and has just 2 grams of carbs and sugar. The brand is owned by Canadian billionaire Anthony von Mandl. Make Mike’s Hard Lemonade

“The health and wellness component is critical and central in terms of visual marketing,” said Vivien Azer, analyst at investment firm Cowen. “All brands of packaging have relatively low carb and sugar content.”

Moreover The alcohol content of most hard spirits, about 5 percent, or 12 ounces of regular beer, is less than a glass of wine or mixed drinks. It makes it easier for people to sip beer at parties or watch games without getting drunk or giving up beer.

Shelley Majeres, general manager of the Blake Street Tavern in downtown Denver, said: “It’s a nice afternoon drink on the patio,” he said. “You can have four or five in the afternoon and not be very hungover or very drunk.”

Blake Street, an 18,000-square-foot sports bar, started selling rigid fabrics two years ago. Today, they make up about 20 percent of can and bottle sales.

The industry also avoids previously disruptive gender issues. Lighter alcoholic alternatives, such as Zima, are popular with women. But men still struggle to adopt a child.

“I have as many men as with women drinking it,” says Nick Zeto, owner of the Boston Beer Garden in Naples, Fla., “and it started with millennials, but now I have people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. Order now. ”

broad appeal That kind of appeals to beer, wine and spirit companies.

“We see ourselves as a brand that defys competitors,” said Michelle St. Jacques, chief marketing officer at Molson Coors, which has been making beer since the late 1700s, hoping to end the year with a 10% market share of . hard seltzer market

last spring The company launched Vizzy, a topo Chico-containing vitamin C solid liqueur, this spring. “We feel like we’re making great progress in seltzer without trying to bring my product along. It is a product and a brand that is distinctly different,” says Ms. St. Jacques.

Meanwhile, grocery stores and liquor stores have made plenty of room for the brand of spirits that people drink at home. The competition to get into restaurants and bars is intense. Most only want to offer two or three brands to their customers.

“Oh my god, I’m presented with a new hard seltzer every time they can grab my attention,” said Stone, a seller of 6 brands at Rambler. He said the crowd favorite was High Peach. The vodka-based Noon Sun Sips are made by E.&J Gallo Winery. “Everyone, from big brands to small brands. They all started entering hardseltzer games.”

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