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The hard seltzer game is getting more competitive.

Jul 27 2021

The hard seltzer game is getting more competitive. It’s not 2019 when hard seltzer was starting to pop up and brands were few and far between. Now, sales for one of young people’s go-to alcoholic beverages are slowing, with statistics from IWSR revealing that the U.S. sales volume for hard seltzer slowed to 130% last year after peak growth of 246% in 2018. The category is getting more crowded and “consumer confusion” is growing, and last Friday shares of Boston Beer Co. (owner of Truly Hard Seltzer) lost a quarter of its value, meanwhile Molson Coors is discontinuing Coors Seltzer. Boston Beer’s CEO David Burwick notes “the trade-off from grocery and liquor store purchases and consuming at home to bars during [Q2] as the summer hit is what really hit us.” But ready-to-drink cocktails (which are made with hard liquor) are also stiffening the competition, and according to ecommerce alcohol delivery platform Drizly, consumers are starting to turn away from big, publicly owned brands (especially beer-branded seltzers) and instead buying based on the drink’s ingredients and choosing smaller, family owned operations. However, though growth has slowed, hard seltzer isn’t going anywhere, and doubling down on connection with young drinkers is key to capturing their hearts moving forward. (BloombergCNBC)