Ring in the dog days of summer with these hard seltzer sips from Smirnoff, White Claw, Truly Spiked & Sparkling and more
Spiked seltzer sales are bubbling over.
Hard seltzer sales are rising as consumers opt for lighter, low-calorie sips with a little bit of booze. The fizzy sips are made from carbonated sparkling water with nearly 5% of alcohol by volume (ABV), or the equivalent of most light beers.
The hard seltzer industry was valued at $60 million at the beginning of last summer and is now at around $500 million in sales, according to Nielsen data obtained by TheStreet.
And Minibar Delivery, an on-demand alcohol ordering service, says sales of the boozy spritz have jumped 143% this summer alone and are up 133% for the year. The most popular brands, include Truly Spiked & Sparkling, Spiked Seltzer and White Claw.
Industry experts say its a healthyish approach to consuming alcohol. “The ‘better for you’ lifestyle is one that we are seeing permeate every industry, and alcohol is no different,” Lara Crystal, co-founder of Minibar Delivery, told Moneyish.
“Today’s consumers are switching from sugary drinks to those offering healthier value propositions, and hard seltzer is leading this trend. As holistic wellness continues to be a topic of conversation, there is a lot of room for growth in this space, so we believe hard seltzer is here to stay,” she added.
Call it the La Croix effect. The throwback 1980s Costco staple turned chic seemingly overnight thanks to a killer marketing campaign. Its neon colored cans are popping up everywhere from picnics, to Instagramable art exhibits and even at music festivals like Coachella. The company’s net sales were $244 million in 2017, up from $203 million from the previous year. That’s part of a larger sparkling water craze in the U.S.: Between 2015 and 2017, sales of domestic sparkling bottled water — not including imports like San Pellegrino — doubled to $8.5 billion, according to the DrinkTell database.
So it’s no shock that more beverage companies are investing in lower calorie seltzer options. Earlier this week, PepsiCo announced it was buying seltzer-maker SodaStream in a deal valued at $3.2 million. The massive move could be PepsiCo’s biggest venture away from its soda sector in an attempt to boost its healthy drink options. And in March, the soda giant debuted Bubbly, a line of sparkling water with zero-calories, no artificial flavors and no sweetners, likely to rival cult-favorite seltzer water LaCroix. And in February, Nestle’s Waters division rolled out new sparkling versions of its spring water brands including Poland Spring, called Sparkling.
And alcohol companies are following suit. Last year, Anheuser-Busch InBev bought organic energy-drink maker Hiball Energy, which owns sparkling water and juice brand Alta Palla. And in May, Smirnoff rolled out a portfolio of summary seltzer flavors like raspberry rosé.
Here are the top five cans to crack open while the weather is still warm:
Truly Spiked & Sparkling, $8.99
With just 100 calories per serving, this fruity fizz contains 5% ABV. It’s made with naturally gluten-free ingredients and contains alcohol made from cane sugar. It is available in three flavors: Lime, Grapefruit and Pomelo, and Pomegranate.
Spiked Seltzer, $8.99
This all-natural sip is made from purified water and citrus fruits. The fresh-fruit-infused flavors include cranberry, orange, lime and grapefruit. Each can is around 140 calories.
White Claw, $8.99
This alcoholic sparkling water made from cold-brewed sugar comes in bold flavors like black cherry, raspberry, and natural lime. Each are 100 calories and contain just two grams of sugar.
Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water, $6.99
With just 88 calories, no sugar and the same alcohol content as a traditional light beer, this light drink tastes like sparkling water with a hint of alcohol. It comes in varieties like passion fruit and strawberry kiwi.
Smirnoff spiked sparkling seltzer, $8.99
Rose all day can come in a low calorie can. Vodka giant Smirnoff bottled up a raspberry rose flavor containing just 90 calories and zero sugar.
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