A sparkling good time!
With many consumers now fully embracing the zeitgeist for hard seltzers, make sure they aren’t disappointed with your offering by stocking the following options which have generated proven, rock-solid results
15 September 2021 | 0
2020 was a breakout year for hard seltzer in Ireland. A relatively new addition to the Irish market, the US ready to drink (RTD) sector has experienced ample growth thanks to the growing popularity of hard seltzer. There, the industry was valued at $550 million in mid-2019 and is expected to be worth $2.5 billion by 2021.
Since its introduction to the Irish market, there has been plenty of activity within the category, with existing brands establishing a presence and several Irish drinks producers embracing the trend. According to a Bord Bia report from 2020, the success of hard seltzer stems from a strong consumer appetite for healthier, natural, and refreshing beverages. The category is certainly one to watch, and here we will highlight some of the key players in this vibrant sector.
A wave of pure refreshment
From 18 August – 5 September, White Claw Hard Seltzer created a brand experience like no other – the White Claw Wave of Summer Pop-up.
Creating a moment for consumers to relax and chill to the summer vibes; there were opportunities to try all available White Claw flavours — Mango, Black Cherry, Natural Lime and Raspberry. The pop up also featured a partnership with Chubby Co for merchandise, a can recycle wall collaboration with Every Can Counts and daily DJ performances. White Claw Hard Seltzer was graced with takeovers by DJ Tara Stewart, I’m Grand Mam podcasters Kevin Twomey and PJ Kirby, radio presenter Izzy Healy and artist Neil Patrick Collins.
About the brand
White Claw Hard Seltzer blends sparkling water with triple distilled alcohol and a hint of natural fruit flavour – a true taste of summer. Low in calories and with no artificial flavours, it’s best served cold, straight from the can.
Defining and redefining a whole new category in alcohol beverages, since launching in the US in 2016, the brand has become an online and cultural phenomenon. Championed by millions of consumers, White Claw has gained cult status becoming the most successful new alcohol brand in a generation. Through their social feeds, videos, hashtags and memes, fans have generated over 4 billion impressions.
White Claw introduced Ireland to hard seltzer in summer 2020. White Claw Hard Seltzer is gluten-free, has an ABV of 4.5% and is just 95 calories per 330ml can. Served cold, White Claw has a delicate subtle flavour, providing pure refreshment.
Within the Irish market, White Claw has achieved the number one position within hard seltzer; and is the number two RTD can brand (Source: Nielsen Ireland Total Scantrack excluding Dunnes and discounters, value sales, 52 weeks to 18 July 2021).
For more information, visit www.whiteclaw.com@whiteclawireland on_lnstagram, Facebook and Twitter #WaveofSummerlE.
Seven Summits is Ireland’s first premium, naturally produced hard seltzer. Initially available in three flavours, the brand is naturally brewed, providing a unique difference to other hard seltzers available today.
Produced in association with the Whitewater Brewing Company, one of Ireland’s leading craft breweries, Seven Summits draws its inspiration, and its pure water, from the breath-taking seven summits of the Mourne Mountains. Known widely as an adventure destination and for its natural beauty, Seven Summits draws on this inspiration and is created with natural ingredients offering a unique and refreshing flavour.
Importantly, the brand is naturally brewed, not blended like many hard seltzers. It is produced in small batches using hand crafted alcohol with natural flavourings and sparkle added through a natural brewing process. The result is a premium hard seltzer that is unique on the island of Ireland.
Seven Summits is being introduced in the following three flavours: Wild Berry, Lemon and Mango and is now available nationwide.
Alcohol, meet sparkling water*
The world’s top drinks experts have combined alcohol and sparkling water with the unexpected twist of natural flavours* including Tangy Lemon Lime, Tropical Mango and Cherry Açai, creating the perfect contradiction – Topo Chico Hard Seltzer.
Now available in stores and off-licenses across the island of Ireland, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is a smooth tasting alcoholic drink, distinctive for its natural flavours and gentle fizz which leaves a deliciously clean aftertaste. It’s perfect for enjoying at home or with friends, meaning weekends are #TopoChicoTime!
Honouring the boldness and charm of its south American roots, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is inspired by the 125-year-old Topo Chico sparkling mineral water brand already popular with mixologists and bartenders in the USA and Latin America.
Follow the brand on social @topochicohs and join the conversation online.
*(Including sugar, natural flavours, flavour enhancers, acidity regulators)
*(Each flavour is gluten-free, has 96 calories, two grams of sugar and 4.7% alcohol by volume)
*(Please drink responsibly)
Low is key!
Loki & Co. launched in 2017 and as such is Europe’s original ‘hard seltzer’. “When we launched, it is fair to say that we were way ahead of the market,” says Stephen Dillon, founder of RTM Beverages, the Dublin-based drinks innovation company.
“We are delighted that the category has finally taken off and interest has boomed not only in Ireland but also across Europe,” he adds. “We are currently selling in several export markets and it is great that we no longer have to explain what hard seltzers are!. We knew that the RTD market was due a shake up and that consumers were turning away from overly sugary products and looking for lower calorie options, hard seltzers provide a great solution to this consumer demand.”
The Loki & Co. range is made with sparkling Irish natural mineral water carefully blended with natural fruit flavours and a wine base to produce a less sweet and more authentic 4% ABV drink at only 100 calories per 330ml can. The drink which is low in calories, carbohydrates, sugars and is naturally gluten free, provides exciting refreshment. Loki & Co. is available in three flavours – Apple & Elderflower, Orange & Mango and now Strawberry & Lime.
“Our development won’t stop here, as pioneers in the no-lo and hard seltzer categories we have plans to continue to expand our range with some great new products and flavours under development,” Dillon continues. “Our ethos is to be completely consumer-focused and we can adapt quickly as the exciting no-lo categories continue to evolve.”
Bracing refreshment of Irish coast
The brewers at St. James’s Gate are excited to unveil new Rockshore Hard Seltzer, the latest addition to the Rockshore portfolio joining Rockshore Lager, Rockshore Light and Rockshore Apple Cider, inspired by the bracing refreshment of the Irish coast.
New Rockshore Hard Seltzer, sparkling water with alcohol and natural fruit flavours is available in Watermelon, Raspberry and Lime – packing all the refreshing taste consumers expect from Rockshore with 83 calories per 330ml can of Raspberry and Lime, and 86 calories per 330ml can of Watermelon.
Seltzer now represents 10% of RTD sales in Ireland with accelerated growth in the sector*1 and people are actively seeking choice that deliver refreshing taste. With outdoor socialising continuing throughout the summer and autumn months, new Rockshore Hard Seltzer is a convenient option for drinks with friends in the garden or to be enjoyed in the moment.
Speaking about the latest innovation, Rockshore senior brand manager, Hannah Todd says: “We are excited to be adding to the Rockshore portfolio with the launch of Rockshore Hard Seltzer following a successful three years of trade since we launched Rockshore Lager in 2018. People are actively seeking choice that deliver refreshing taste, so it felt like a perfect fit for Rockshore to introduce more options with the launch of new Rockshore Hard Seltzer.”
The launch of Rockshore Hard Seltzer will be supported by an integrated communications campaign encompassing TV, digital, PR, sampling, media partnerships and in-store activations.
Developed by Diageo in conjunction with agency partners BBDO Dublin, Wilson Hartnell PR, PHD, Bulletproof and Geometry, the launch celebrates the bracing refreshment of the Irish coast and is inspired by the energy of the Atlantic Ocean and the invigorating spritz and spray of a can of Rockshore Hard Seltzer.
New Rockshore Hard Seltzer is available in off-licences and supermarkets for a RRP of €3.45 per 330ml single can and RRP of €10 per 330ml four-pack can throughout the Republic of Ireland*.
To find out more, visit Rockshore.ie.
*(Always drink responsibly. Visit drinkaware.ie for more details)
Following meteoric rise in US, hard seltzer is here to stay
An American sensation, hard seltzer is now making waves on Irish shores too. After delivering triple digit growth in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 in the US, hard seltzer continues to deliver strong value growth of +48%. The category is now worth $4.9bn globally and holds over a 10% value share of beer (Source: IRI USA MULC + Liquor 52 weeks to 18 July 2021)
From just 3% in 2017, over one quarter of Americans have since started drinking hard seltzer with household penetration now at 29%. At 19.2%, White Claw is the number two beer brand for household penetration in America (Source: Numerator Omnipanel, 52 weeks to 16 May 2021).
News site Vox.com covered the meteoric rise of hard seltzer back in 2019, stating: “It’s a beverage whose existence makes so much sense for so many reasons, and feels so perfectly positioned in this particular period of time, that it has helped define what exactly this period is.”
The article went on to outline the beverage’s impressive sales, noting: “It is difficult to overestimate the hugeness of hard seltzer to people who study the business of alcohol, but here are some exact figures: Hard seltzer is currently a $550 million business and is projected to keep growing, with one UBS analyst estimating to Business Insider that it could be worth $2.5 billion by 2021. Sales of hard seltzer have grown about 200% over the past year, with 164.3% of that growth occurring in July alone, according to Nielsen.”
The fact that hard seltzers deliver a low-calorie option (with a relatively low ABV) makes the category an attractive choice for Gen Z consumers who are focused on improving their health and wellbeing. According to Vox: “That hard seltzer has a relatively low ABV and little or no additional sugar allows most versions to remain in the 100-calorie range, which is pretty much as low as you can go if you’re drinking alcohol (a shot of vodka, for example, has about the same number of calories). It is also what’s allowed hard seltzer brands to market their product as adjacent or somehow contributing to the idea of “wellness,” because it at least has fewer calories than a real cocktail.”
Gender neutral marketing
Another interesting point to note about hard seltzer is that it’s marketed as a ‘gender neutral’ choice. As the Vox article outlines: “In an exploration of hard seltzer and gender for Eater, Amy McCarthy argues that instead of targeting the drink on the basis of sex, hard seltzer is selling a lifestyle — one that isn’t dependent on gender. It’s a drink for doing summertime things: concerts, beaches, and boating. The fact that it’s considered more upscale than other malt liquor offerings (you can buy it at Whole Foods, for instance) helps sell it as aspirational.”