A Beer Guy – a guy who just wanted to sell more than beer – made a startling observation that forever changed The Drinking World!
Back in 2012, Beer Brand Manager Nick Shields was sitting in a dive bar- where many good (and bad) ideas begin – pondering ideas to sell more beer. Then, he made a simple observation that changed his life. “I saw five women order vodka sodas; one after the other,” he recalled.
The Summer of 2012 was a time when beer sales were being passed by wine and spirits. As Shields watched the women knock down vodka and soda after vodka and soda, it became his goal to create something that catered exclusively to this new market. A drink he describes as “light as vodka” rose from his beer-making methodology. What came to be after much trial and error was the first-ever spiked seltzer, made with fermented sugar rather than malted barley. In an easy decision, he then named his new creation Spiked Seltzer. And the rest of the story became Carbonated Alcohol History. Sales took off and other companies started to take notice with copycat drinks. Overnight, it became an internet sensation.
“Ain’t no laws when drinking Claws,” Travis Wallace yelled in his video that took the internet by storm. “White Claw Summer 2019, Baby,” was another. His video has been viewed 2.9 million times on YouTube and created a conversation that would help launch hard seltzer to new levels of sales. White Claw and Truly dominated the market this summer, and both brands showed no sign of slowing down; they controlled 85% of the market. Such success caused other companies to hop on the hard seltzer band wagon. Anheuser-Busch wanted to create a fresh idea to compete with the likes of White Claw and Truly. Clever packaging and names like Aloha Beaches and Catalina Lime Mixer, PLUS 1% more alcohol content, set Anhueser-Busch products apart from other hard seltzer products. Some think this is just be a fad drink, but Ricardo Marques, Vice President of Core and Value Brands at Anheuser-Busch said, “this is not a fad. This is here to stay.”
The strong demand has actually caused a shortage of Seltzer brands. Mark Anthony Brands, creator of White Claw, is investing more the $250 million dollars in building production plants around the country to keep up with the demand of the drink.
A traditional Beer Town is ALL in
Strong demand continues in Green Bay. In a state that tends to be more beer-dominated, hard seltzer is still gaining huge revenue. Local bars quickly stocked coolers with the “Unofficial Drink of Summer 2019” and have seen a lot of success. The popular D2 Sports Bar in Green Bay, located a block from legendary Lambeau Field, sold 1,900 cases of White Claw since January.
On a national level, hard seltzer is currently a $550 Million dollar business. According to Business Insider, it’s projected to grow to $2.5 Billion dollars in just two years. Sales grew about 200 percent over the past year; 164.3 percent occurring in July alone. According to the Beer Institute, if trends continue hard seltzer will see a drop in sales through the winter months. Even with the dip in sales through the winter months, large brands like Anheuser Busch and Mark Anthony Brands are all in on the trend, and will continue to invest in the product in anticipation for another record breaking Summer of 2020.
An informal poll taken at three of Green Bay’s most popular bars – Stadium View, Cock and Bull, and Kittners – found the most popular answer for why hard seltzer was such a popular drink option was because of it being, “healthy.” White Claw is known to have fewer calories and zero grams of sugar which makes it more appealing to those who are watching their so-called “girlish figures.” Even with hard seltzer being more of a female dominated drink, this past summer men have embraced the hard seltzer trend – something they’re usually discouraged from enjoying. When floating down the river in the summer you see more hard seltzer drinks than beer or water. When sipping on an ice-cold hard seltzer, many people think they are drinking something close to a vodka soda.
Goes Down Easy; Nice
Hard Seltzers have a strong campaign of marketing and have positioned the brand to be “clean” and “healthy” which goes great with all the other healthy trendy lifestyles going on today. No matter what gender you are, it is clear that it doesn’t make you less manly for enjoying a nice, clear, tasty beer beverage.
When reaching into that fridge, just remember it is a booming market and you shouldn’t feel discouraged from staying hydrated – and fit – with a beverage that is 1% more alcohol than most beer!
TYPO? Did you spot a typo or grammatical error in this story? Report it NOW to The Grammar Police so we can fix it before a potential employer – or one of our parents – sees it and busts us! Report it: HERE! Thank you.