Hard seltzer is a ready-to-drink beverage that blends carbonated water, alcohol, and fruit flavoring in a can for portability. The absolute explosion in interest around low and non-alcoholic beverages began during the White Claws Summer of 2019, when a hard seltzer brand White Claws collaborated with comedian Trevor Wallace and released a video that popularized the phrase “ain’t no laws when you’re drinking Claws”. This line led to an explosion of growth in White Claw sales that even caused shortages across the US.

One year later, while White Claw was still dominating the sales of hard seltzers, more than 150 brands were bursting out in the US in the same beverage category: Truly, Bud Light Seltzer, Polar Seltzer, and many more. Marketed as healthy, aspirational and gender-neutral, in 2021 the global hard seltzer market size was valued at USD 8.95 billion and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9% from 2022 to 2030.

The boom of hard seltzers has greatly benefited from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, when consumers started to gain higher health consciousness and look for low-alcohol beverages. Moreover, millennials and the younger generation during lockdown were driven to look for novelty on the shelves at grocery stores, and the colorful, fruity-flavored, low alcohol and calorie hard seltzers were the perfect eye-catcher.

However, in July 2022, while crowds were returning to bars and restaurants, hard seltzer sales in retail stores were down about 18%, compared to the previous year.

Today, some argue that Hard seltzer has lost its fizz, while others expect the market to be continuously expanding into a competitive landscape.

This article provides insight into the above controversy by leveraging Dashmote’s Data Analytics SaaS platform and evaluating the performance of the major hard seltzer brands on meal delivery in North America from 3 perspectives: the growths, the penetration rates and the market shares in 2022.

Top hard seltzer brands on meal delivery in the US

North America accounted for the largest hard seltzer revenue share of more than 55.5% in 2021 and is likely to further increase the consumption of hard seltzer in the coming years. According to Dashmote’s latest data, White Claw hard seltzer brand had a market share of 20% on US meal delivery platforms in Q4, 2022 among all the Digital Storefronts (DSFs) selling hard seltzers. This was followed by Truly, with a market share of 20%.

Topo Chico, a hard seltzer brand bought by Coca-Cola in 2017, saw the largest quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) growth of 49% in DSFs listings in Q4, 2022. Controlling a 6% hard seltzer market share on US meal delivery, Topo Chico ranked 7th among the top hard seltzer brands.

High Noon, launched by Wine and Spirit Industry Giant E&J Gallo Winery in 2019, also saw a large QoQ growth of 41% and controlled 7% hard seltzer market shares in Q4, 2022. High Noon separates itself by appealing to the better-for-you crowd, including distilled liquor and real juice in its transparent ingredient list. This marketing strategy appears to be successful, as proved by the growth rate in our data.

Furthermore, White Claw, Truly, and Bud Light Seltzer, all had a QoQ growth above 20%. A key takeaway from this is that the hard seltzer industry is unlikely to fizzle out in the upcoming years. Although appearing as a summertime drink, the hard seltzer market tends to remain dynamic and resilient all year round in 2022.

In fact, the penetration rates of top hard seltzer brands on US meal delivery are already more than 10 times higher than non-alcoholic beers, but still mainly under 2%. Partnering with restaurants and major delivery aggregators would be beneficial for hard seltzer brands to expand their digital footprints.

Top hard seltzer brands on meal delivery in Canada

In Canada, the hard seltzer market for meal delivery is much smaller than in the US. White Claw dominated Canadian meal delivery platforms in Q4, 2022 with a 53% hard seltzer market share. There was a huge gap to the second most listed brand, Coors Seltzers, which controlled only 10% market share. The penetration rate of White Claw (1.8%) is more than 4.5 times higher than Coors Seltzer (0.4%) and Bud Light Seltzer (0.3%).

The QoQ growth of the top 5 hard seltzer brands on Canadian meal delivery varied between 8% and 22% in Q4, 2022. Corona Tropical, released by AB InBev in May 2022, saw the largest growth on meal delivery. This is followed by White Claw, with a 15% QoQ growth.

Speaking about the domination of White Claw in the hard seltzer market, Nicholas Greeninger, CEO of Tolago Hard Seltzer, said that he didn’t expect it to fall from the top position but he did expect smaller brands and businesses to gain more sales in the future. With only less than 1% of all menu cards on Canadian meal delivery having a hard seltzer product listed, Dashmote is confident that there is a major opportunity for seltzer brands to grow their business by expanding their presence on meal delivery.

Dashmote is the leading big data and AI analytics company in the food & beverage industry. We empower F&B leaders and analysts to track and analyze publicly available data so they can make informed decisions for their brands. Are you interested in retrieving market insights across meal delivery and F&B?
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