US Alcoholic Seltzer Marketing Strategies

Goals

To understand the major marketing strategies of new alcoholic seltzer brands in the US.

Early Findings

  • The alcoholic (or hard) seltzer market is quite young, having hit store shelves for the first time in 2016, when there were only four brands on the market. Spiked Seltzer was launched in 2013, but the other three (Nauti Seltzer, Truly Spiked & Sparkling, and White Claw Hard Seltzer) all launched in 2016.
  • The market is estimated to be worth $500 million, as of mid-2018.
  • Of these more established brands Spiked Seltzer, renamed Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer by its new owner Anheuser-Busch, has done some formidable marketing, including a 2019 Super Bowl ad. Its marketing spend is estimated to be under $100 million and includes digital and print, in addition to national TV.
  • Alcoholic seltzer brands that are newer to the market include Oskar Blues (Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water), "Two Beers (Sound Hard Seltzer), M.I.A Beer Company (HRD WTR), NoDa Brewing (Brizo), Platform Beer Co., Braxton Brewing (Vive)."
  • Brands in this category are marketing themselves as healthier options, such as being low calorie and gluten-free.
  • Henry's Hard Sparkling Water doubled "its media advertising spend in 2018," which included TV commercials, such this one.
  • Packaging is an important marketing tool for hard seltzers with many brands offering variety packs, as flavor options are a top selling feature for this market.
  • Oskar Blues uses cause marketing to appeal to the millennial generation, which gravitates to brands that match their social consciousness. For every case of their Wild Basin seltzer sold, they donate $1 to the Can’d Aid Foundation, which supports "beach and river cleanups across the country."
  • SVEDKA Spiked Premium Seltzer uses social media advertising, successfully promoting their brand through video ads on Facebook and Instagram, giving them a "19-point lift in brand awareness."
  • White Claw was launched in 2016 and has become one of the top-selling brands, having used content marketing and social media advertising.
  • Perfekt Zero seeks out influencers to help market their low-calorie alcoholic seltzer.

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