Monday, February 15, 2021

Can Alcohol Be “Better for you”


Here goes Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solution® touting the growth of grocerant niche mix and match meal bundling the foundation driving growth within the grocerant niche.  This time he’s back at it touting the halo of ‘better-for-you’ products that consumers are migrating to that should be included as a key mix and match meal component at all restaurants, C-store, Service Deli’s, and Dollar Stores.

You guessed it, he’s touting Hard seltzer as it has captured customer attention specifically Gen Z and Millennials.  Why?  Simple it is seen as lighter than a light beer.  In fact, Millennials say that it is easy-to-drink.  Ok, I know what I just said.  Some of you say that about all alcoholic beverages.  Those new at ‘drinking’ say that it is perceived as better-for-you and offers an array of flavors.

For those of you too old to know, Hard seltzer is an alcoholic seltzer, also known as spiked seltzer or hard sparkling water. Technically hard seltzer is considered part of the flavored malt beverage (FMB) segment. However, as of the summer of 2020, fewer than 10% of hard seltzer customers thought of it as a type of beer, according to global marketing research firm, Nielsen. So, get this, 60% of hard seltzer customers — and 70% of millennial drinkers, who make up the base hard seltzer buyer — consider hard seltzer to be its own category according to Nielsen.

Most seltzers include carbonated water, flavoring and alcohol, sometimes from fermented cane sugar or malted barley, and usually about 5% alcohol by volume (ABV). Seltzers soared to success between 2018-2019, around the time sparkling water was also surging as a trend, as customers began seeking out beverages they perceived as healthier than traditional soft drinks. Not only is hard seltzer associated with health and wellness trends, but it also fits with a trend of being easy-to-drink, light and low-calorie, and its array of new flavors intrigued customers according to research.

Sales of a grocerant niche ‘better-for-you product can fly out the door. Category leader White Claw Hard Seltzer was featured on Nielsen’s 2019 Breakthrough Innovations list. In 2019, White Claw held 58% of the market share of the hard seltzer segment, followed by Truly with 26%, per T4 Labs Inc. By June 2020, more than 65 hard seltzer products had arrived on the market, Nielsen reported.

Regular readers of this blog know that we talk about the value of mix and match meal bundling with Ready-2-Eat, Heat-N-Eat and Ready-2-Drink products. Today, total U.S. Convenience numbers from Nielsen showed that in the 52-week period ending Jan. 23, 2021, hard seltzer sales totaled $1.52 billion at convenience stores, up 214% year-over-year. So, if you’re not bundling hard seltzer as a valued meal component you are missing out.  That my friends is your success clue for today.

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information

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