The rise of the hard seltzer category represents an increasing threat to wine volume growth in the US, according to new research by insights agency Wine Intelligence.
In a survey conducted among a nationally representative population of 2,000 American regular wine drinkers, 39% said they had reduced their wine consumption over the last 12 months.
While most of this group indicate they are simply cutting back on alcohol, a third of those saying they are drinking less wine are doing so because they are switching to other alcoholic beverage categories.
Within this latter group, accounting for around 9 million regular wine consumers (or 12% of the regular wine-drinking population), the most popular beverages they were switching to are beer and hard seltzers.
A report published last month by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis suggests the hard seltzer category in the US will more than triple by 2023. Hard seltzer and other seltzer-like products command a market share of 2.6% of all beverage alcohol in the US, up from only 0.85% a year ago.
According to IWSR, wine consumption in the US decreased by 0.9% in 2019, the first decline in 25 years.
Wine Intelligence said the hard seltzer category’s stellar rise seems to be due to its ability to tap into a number of key trends at once: the drinks are relatively low in alcohol (4-7% ABV), low in calories (typically less than 100 calories) and packaged in light, sustainable and eye-catching cans.
“The American love affair with wine is far from over, but it is clear that wine businesses selling in the US market are facing something of a perfect storm,” said Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence.
“Occasions for alcoholic beverage consumption are shrinking, particularly among younger consumers, and the range of beverages is growing – including hard seltzer but also craft beer, hard cider and craft spirits.
“Our tracking data is also showing that wine is growing increasingly reliant on baby boomers – those in their 60s and above – to drive volume in the sector. The younger generation is working out what its relationship with alcohol will be for the next 30+ years, and wine should not be taking anything for granted.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019