- The reemergence of seltzer, also known as soda water or sparkling water, comes in stark contrast to its similarly fizzy counterpart, soda, sales for which have dropped more than 7% in the five years ending in 2013. In that same time period, seltzer sales have soared 29%.
- Food and beverage companies are responding to increased demand for seltzer. Dr Pepper Snapple Group is expanding its seltzer brands distribution in the U.S., including Schweppes and Canada Dry, and Nestle SA is releasing new sparkling water flavors, such as Perrier in green-apple and lemon-orange.
- Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, an offshoot of Gomberg Seltzer Works, is one up-and-coming company capitalizing on the seltzer trend. The company modernizes seltzer delivery by using an early 20th-century metal machine to fill old-fashioned glass bottles with seltzer water in such a way that carbonation does not easily escape as it might from plastic bottles. The glass bottles are then delivered in wooden crates to doorman buildings in downtown Brooklyn and well-to-do restaurants in Manhattan.
Rather than any increase in marketing, these boosted seltzer sales have come instead from consumers who are turning away from soda and diet soda and looking for a healthier option with fewer chemicals and ingredients and less sugar and caffeine while still retaining that fizzy mouth feel of a soft drink. Other consumers are nostalgic for soda-fountain drinks. Whether they appeal to consumers' nostalgia or health concerns, food and beverage companies may boost production for or plan to launch seltzer brands in the near future.
Such a surge in seltzer sales can benefit companies like SodaStream, which saw a 25% drop in revenue in Q4 2014 as soda sales declined, as the company can refocus its marketing on flavored sparkling water products instead. In an earnings call, SodaStream announced it was developing a new machine that would handle not just cold sparkling beverages but hot ones as well, so clearly the company is already in the market for beverage options beyond regular soda, and seltzer varieties could be the answer.
SodaStream is also delving into carbonated cocktails with the SodaStream Mix.
Another company listening closely to this increased consumer demand is Keurig Green Mountain, which is launching its Keurig Kold machine in the fall. Moving from hot beverages to cold beverages with this new technology, Keurig would not surprise anyone if it signed on more seltzer products before and after the machine's release.