Move Over, Soda: Seltzer Sales Are Through The Roof
It won’t come as a surprise to many that soda is becoming passé.
But it’s not just soda that’s being pushed out, it’s coffee and even beer.
The culprit? Sparkling water.
With a growing number of variations, including flavored seltzers like LaCroix, alcoholic versions like White Claw Hard Seltzer, and even caffeinated variants like Hiball, sparkling water sales are booming.
Americans will buy approximately 821 million gallons of sparkling water this year, nearly three times as much as in 2008, according to data from Beverage Marketing Corp. as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Sales of nonalcoholic variants totaled $2.7 billion in the U.S. in the year that ended June 30—outpacing fruit juice sales, which totaled $2.5 billion.
And hard seltzer sales are steadily growing too. In the year ending July 14, sales totaled $295 million, up from $106 million the previous year, and $11 million two years ago, according to the WSJ. Hard seltzer is gradually catching up with beer, now representing close to 10% of all flavored malt beverages sales in the U.S.
Beverage producers and VCs are pouncing on the trend: PepsiCo announced last week that it was acquiring SodaStream for $3.2 billion, while data from Pitchbook shows that more than $152 million has been invested in sparkling water companies in 2018 alone. That’s more than was invested in 2016 and 2017 combined.
Companies are finding more and more creative ways to tap into the seltzer market too. Heineken’s Lagunitas brand launched an IPA-inspired cannabis-infused sparkling water this summer, called Hi-Fi Hops.
Looks like this trend won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect the fact that White Claw Hard Seltzer, not Mike’s Hard Lemonade, is an alcoholic seltzer.