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Retail Insights & Analytics

Data Insights: Hard Seltzers Are Taking Over Alcohol Sales

Learn how the market shifted towards hard seltzers and why an on-premise POS database is a vital beverage alcohol resource to predict future opportunities.


Gathering around the bar to enjoy a cold drink among friends is not what it used to be. It used to be the case that there was a limited number of options available at the bar to select from. Consumers seemed content with selecting from one of just a handful of domestic beers, and perhaps an imported selection or two. 

However, the alcoholic beverage industry has recognized that offering only a limited number of selections left an untapped portion of the market that was not being served. The generation that is coming into drinking age now is demanding different types of alcoholic beverages than those from before. 

This blog takes a look at the changing dynamics of the alcoholic beverages market and what is driving the impressive growth of the hard seltzer beverage market. 

The Hard Seltzer Market: A Booming Opportunity 

The hard seltzer market opportunity has been booming as of late. In fact, this market segment is growing faster than virtually any other in the industry, resulting in a massive shift of resources and investment by alcoholic beverage companies to develop new hard seltzer beverages. 

In 2019, the hard seltzer market was a $4.4 billion dollar market. Many wondered how it might be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, and some expected that this experimental market might quickly fold. 

However, the data shows that it’s not going anywhere. In fact, Forbes.com recently posted an article suggesting that this is not the case: 

"Hard seltzers are far from a fad, they're growing at a spectacular rate, and increasingly, hard seltzer producers are pulling consumers from other beverage alcohol categories, not just beer."

While other specialty alcoholic beverages, such as hard sodas, don't seem to have a very loyal fan base (just one in ten who buy a hard soda end up being repeat customers), the hard seltzer market is much more robust. Consumers appear to love the taste of the hard seltzer, and they like that they can avoid some of the extra calories that come with a traditional beer. 

This is a big part of the reason why market analysts think that the hard seltzer market will grow to be a $14.5 billion dollar market by the year 2027. Needless to say, many analysts are very bullish on the future of hard seltzers. 

Hard Seltzers Vs. Beer: Why Are So Many Opting For Seltzers?

We’ve discussed some of the core growth stats of the hard seltzer market, but what is the driving force behind these numbers? There are multiple factors, and it’s important to review each to understand the dramatic changes taking place in a market that seemed to be unchangeable in the eyes of many. 

Fortune.com reports that the total beer market has shrunk by 3% since last year. It is very impressive that despite these industry statistics, the hard seltzer market continues to grow at an impressive rate. It seems that consumer preference for their alcoholic beverage has shifted slightly from a traditional choice to something a little newer. Many are moving more and more towards hard seltzers because: 

  • It’s considered To Be A Healthier Option - One of the most appealing factors for those choosing a hard seltzer as their drink of choice is that these drinks have fewer calories, no artificial flavors or colors, and other benefits over traditional beers. Those who are trying to watch their weight and live a healthier lifestyle may reach for a seltzer rather than a traditional beer. 
  • The Flavor Can Be Tastier - Everyone has their preferences, but many say that they truly appreciate the flavors that hard seltzers bring to the table. For instance, while many traditional beers tend to have a hop-based taste, hard seltzers are able to experiment more broadly with flavors such as strawberry, grape, mango, and much more. These drinks go down easily, and consumers appreciate that. 
  • A Fair Price Point - Many hard seltzer beverages average just a dollar or two above the price that one might pay for a traditional beer. This means that they remain within the budget of the average beer drinker, and are easily affordable for many. 

Gain Better Insights With A Must-Have Beverage Alcohol Market Resource

If you’re a retailer or supplier in the alcohol industry, you can make better and more informed decisions with the latest insights about the beverage alcohol market. This is why a high-quality on-premise POS database  is a must-have beverage alcohol resource for any supplier or retailer who wants to see how their various alcoholic beverages are selling within restaurants and bars nationwide.

Such a system could have identified the shift towards more hard seltzers being purchased before it was readily apparent to the rest of the world. Getting ahead of the curve to ensure that you are always properly supplied as far as your inventory levels are concerned is an absolute must, particularly during this time of supply chain disruptions. 

The hard seltzer market is what everyone is focused on right now, but the next change could be just around the corner, and you could identify it before it fully arrives if you have access to the on-premise POS insights that iControl offers. Request a demo today.

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