Hard seltzer has been the beverage of the summer… for the last two years. With its variety of fruity flavors and low calorie and carb profile, spiked and sparkling seltzers are the perfect alcoholic beverage for warm temps and afternoons by the pool. While the summer of 2019 saw the infamous White Claw shortage, the industry remains robust and it officially became a $3 billion market in the summer of 2020, following a strong July 4th weekend. But will seltzer’s drink domination continue into fall and winter?
Anheuser-Busch InBev is aggressively pursuing hard seltzer as they continue to release spiked and sparkling options under new and existing labels. According to recent filings with the US Patent & Trademark Office, AB InBev is now trying to register a new trademark, “seltzer’s even better in a sweater.”
While the tagline is presumably a reference to consumers wearing sweaters while drinking hard seltzer (because it’s getting cold and all), AB InBev could go all in with this sweater campaign.
Perhaps the beverage company will release ugly sweater themed koozies to fit a 12 ounce skinny seltzer can. Each hard seltzer in its growing profile could have a different pattern, based on its unique brand, such as flamingos in Santa hats for Natural Light or mermaids wearing winter coats instead of bikini tops for BON & V!V.
Or maybe the cans themselves will join the sweater party. Coca-Cola famously releases holiday-themed cans every year; why not sell Bud Light Cranberry or Social Club Old Fashioned in a festive sweater printed can? Promotional tie-ins and special edition seasonal flavors could be a great way to carry seltzer’s popularity into the holidays, establishing it as a beverage that’s appropriate year round and not just a summer sensation.
Hard Seltzer is Becoming Less Seasonal
It’s not surprising that AB InBev is looking for creative ways to incorporate hard seltzer into colder months, as they have released several new flavors and imperial options just in time for summer to turn into fall. Bud Light Seltzer released three new flavors in its remix variety pack; joining OG fan favorite Strawberry are Grapefruit, Pineapple, and the perfectly autumnal Cranberry, which is sure to grace many a Thanksgiving table this season. If you’re looking for food pairing suggestions for your holiday parties, check out these great tips.
Additionally, AB InBev simultaneously rolled out its newest imperial option, Bud Light Platinum Seltzer, in three flavors: Blood Orange, Citrus, and Wild Berry. Like the beer for which it is named, Platinum Seltzer is also higher in alcohol at eight percent ABV compared to original Bud Light Seltzer’s five percent. While Platinum boasts that it is “brewed for the night,” perhaps they should say it’s brewed to keep you warmer in colder weather.
AB InBev aren’t the only people pushing seltzer into the holiday season; craft seltzer makers are starting to experiment with fall flavors. Cincinnati-based VIVE daringly released the most popular of autumnal options with its new Pumpkin Spice Hard Seltzer. PRESS Premium Alcohol Seltzer also released its limited edition Apple Cinnamon. With such pie-inspired flavors, you’re likely to see seltzer pop up on the dessert table at this year’s Halloween party or Friendsgiving.
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