Anheuser-Busch invests $100 million in hard seltzer

Company leveraging subcategory to help bring consumers back to beer. A new hard seltzer is entering the market in the first quarter of 2020.

Bud Light Seltzer is Anheuser-Busch’s latest addition to its hard seltzer category, which also includes Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer and Natural Light Seltzer.

The St. Louis-based brewer’s newest hard seltzer (5% ABV) is made with sparkling water, cane sugar and natural fruit flavours. It comes in four varieties: black cherry, mango, lemon-lime, and strawberry.

We cannot wait for this to hit Australia!

The 100-calorie drink is brewed with a five-step filtration process that ensures a cleaner finish with no aftertaste, according to A-B. It is naturally carbonated, gluten-free [1] and made with less than 1 gram of sugar.

It will be available in a case of bud light price with 12-pack variety pack and single-flavor 12 packs (with 12-ounce slim cans) and in 25-ounce cans in the US, Confirmation of Packs, and even if this will be available in Australia remains to be seen. Pending confirmation of the Sale of CUB, to Asahi Beverages the decision will rest with the Japanese company to bring it to these shores.

ABinBev won’t be the first to launch into the Seltzer market in Australia, with Lion beating them to it with the launch of their Brand Quincy.

“With the worldwide trend towards moderation – in addition to mindfulness around ingredients such as sugar and carbohydrates – we have created a beverage choice that ticks all the right boxes,” Lion’s Innovation Director Jo Simpson said.

Simpson said the range appeals to wine, beer and spirit drinkers who are looking for “something a little bit different”.

Since last year, alcoholic seltzer sales in the US have soared 193 per cent according to Nielsen data. In the first six months of 2019, Americans spent US$389 million on hard seltzer, according to Nielsen’s survey of supermarkets and beverage retailers [2], an increase of 210 per cent from 2018.

“Seltzer has brought excitement to the entire category and brought consumers back to beer. We are looking forward to leveraging the power of the Bud Light brand to help grow the category,” said Andy Goeler, Bud Light’s marketing vice president.

About 74% of convenience-store shoppers are purchasing hard seltzers more often than they were a year ago, according to a MarketBrief report from Technomic presented in September at CSP’s Cold Vault Forum.

A-B owns and operates 12 flagship breweries, 12 craft partners, 14 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities. Its beer brands include Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois, as well as regional brands.

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