what is a hard seltzer

Hard Seltzer drinks successfully boosted the ready-to-drink market

The RDT ready-to-drink category was the fastest growing category in 2019 boosted by hard seltzers beverages.


The frenzy caused by ready-to-drink beverages such as hard-seltzers propelled the category in 2019. It had the fastest growth, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

Nowadays we know several brands of seltzers. This sparkling (or carbonated) water enriched with almost 5% alcohol by volume, more or less similar to a light beer. Its appeal is its low carbohydrate, sugar and calorie content. Refreshing and tasty, it is therefore considered an alternative to other alcoholic beverages.

In the category, IWSR noted a 20% increase in volume in 2019. In addition, it brought more than double the growth value to the industry. Even more than wine last year. Also, they estimate that in the next five years it will remain the fastest growing category.

Seltzer beverages are primarily popular in the United States. “Hard seltzers were a phenomenal success in the U.S. in 2019. And by the end of the year they were already larger in terms of consumption volume than the entire vodka category in the USA“. Said Brandy Rand, CEO of IWSR in America.

The popularity of these drinks is also due to growing health concerns and the search for a healthier lifestyle. These types of drinks have seduced people of all ages, and managed to displace beer, wine and spirits.

Brandy Rand added that the drink’s forecast includes a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 20.9% from 2019 to 2024.


Hard-seltzer drinks expand worldwide

Last year the hard seltzers landed in the UK, with local productions. For example, the brewer AB InBev joined the production of seltzers under Mike’s Hard Sparkling Water brand. Also the cider producer Koppaberg with Balans. And only on June 1, White Claw Hard Seltzer, the world’s best-selling seltzer, arrived on the market in that country.


Another type of ready-to-drink beverage

In France, ready-to-drink beverages are also preparing the ground. Although we still don’t find White Claw or Truly (another well-known seltzer) on the market, we find other options. Marc Bonneton, bartender and mixologist, aims to democratize the cocktail and facilitate its use. His idea, together with his partners, is the ready-to-drink cocktail brand Cockorico.

The real obstacle to the development of the popular and widespread main stream cocktail is the price: 12 euros in a brewery or 15 euros in a bar, it can be difficult. Why not offer cocktails at the price of 8 or 9 euros, served quickly, to eventually compete with wine or beer?” Says Marc Bonneton in an interview with Business & Marchés.


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


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