- MillerCoors will launch Vizzy hard seltzer in March of 2020, according to the MillerCoors blog, Behind Beer. The seltzer will be made with acerola cherry, a superfruit that features 30 times more vitamin C per cup than an orange.
- The hard seltzer will come in four flavors: Black Cherry Lime, Blueberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Kiwi and Pineapple Mango. Each 12-ounce can will have 100 calories, 1 gram of sugar and 5% alcohol by volume.
- Vizzy will be priced in line with top-selling hard seltzers White Claw and Truly, the company said.
The growth of the $550 million segment was so profound it even managed to push beer sales in a positive direction for the first time in five years. IRI data puts seltzer in the larger beer category for marketing statistical purposes, and with this method of measurement, July's reported sales of beer were up 3.5% since January, totaling $19.5 billion. Unsurprisingly, Big Beer wants more of this kind of growth.
Truly and White Claw are the two dominant seltzer brands with 54% and 29% of the total market share, respectively. Not only do these two brands control the majority of consumer purchases, but their sales exploded at an enviable level. White Claw grew more than 265% this summer compared to the same period last year, according to IRI data ending in September that the company sent to Food Dive. Interestingly, both these brands sell 100-calorie cans with 1 gram of sugar and 5% ABV.
This is a recipe that others are now following. Vizzy has the same proportions of sugar, calories and alcohol. So will AB InBev’s Bud Light Seltzer, which is set to hit shelves next year.
But Vizzy will be joining a very crowded cooler. It's the second hard seltzer offering from MillerCoors, which also has the Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water brand. AB InBev recently released Natural Light Seltzer. It also owns the recently rebranded Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer. And the other big alcoholic beverage companies are jumping into the space. Diageo has Smirnoff Spiked Sparling Seltzer, and Constellation Brands will release a hard seltzer under the Corona brand in the spring.
In such a competitive space, MillerCoors is using the addition of antioxidants to help its seltzer stand out. Differentiating itself with a functional ingredient may be a wise choice. Beverage development company Imbibe predicted functional beverages that “go back to basics” and feature simpler additions to drinks — including omega-3s, zinc, calcium, potassium and vitamins — will see a resurgence in 2020. The addition of antioxidants also works well with a hard seltzer. The beverage fits into the healthy alternative category, which tends to be popular with millennials seeking better-for-you alternatives, featuring aspects such as lower calorie counts and low- and no-alcohol.
Hard seltzer accounted for 21% of millennial alcoholic beverage consumption in the last year, and analysts predict that growth will continue. UBS expects the hard seltzer category to reach $2.5 billion by 2021, which would mean a 66% annual growth rate and a consumption spike from 14 million cases last year to 72 million by 2021.
And even though the number of hard seltzer choices seems to grow by the day, White Claw Senior Vice President of Marketing Sanjiv Gajiwala told Esquire only 4% of households have bought their alcoholic seltzers — meaning there is plenty of room for new entrants in the market to capture consumer attention.