- Boston Beer, maker of Sam Adams and Angry Orchard, released a new hard seltzer line called Truly Spiked & Sparkling to reach younger, health-conscious women and wine drinkers. The product is a 5% ABV, 100-calorie hard sparkling water in fruit flavors.
- The company said it has lost market share to new craft beers and as more brewers offer more options. In the fourth quarter 2015 Boston Beer's net revenue saw a 1 percent drop from the same period of 2014.
- The hard seltzer category is relatively untapped with only a handful of significant players. The segment seems to target women and wine drinkers who might not drink Sam Adams' conventional craft beer products.
Boston Beer saw this category take off for similar brands like Nauti Seltzer from craft brewer Wachusett Brewing, launched last month, and Spiked Seltzer from Boathouse Beverage LLC, which debuted in 2013.
The hard seltzer segment benefits from a few major beverage trends in the industry today. One is the increase and shift in women drinkers as beverage makers develop and target more products at this demographic. This has led to the rise of categories like hard cider and, more recently, hard soda, particularly hard root beer, which also appeals to nostalgia across drinker demographics.
Where this market differs from hard soda and hard cider, however, is that it also aligns with another fast-growing beverage trend. Sparkling water has been posting double-digit growth, and several major beverage producers, particularly soda makers, have released new sparkling water brands and varieties to capitalize on this trend.