Hard Seltzer: Everything You Need to Know

July 2, 2024
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Hard Seltzer: Everything You Need to Know

Hard seltzer is a popular drink for today’s alcohol consumers. The bubbly, light taste, and low calories make it a great choice for many people. 

The high demand for hard seltzers means there are many chances to enter the market. In order to sell or distribute hard seltzer, there are a few things to be aware of. This includes market information, hard seltzer trends, and packaging information. 

Learn the ins and outs of the hard seltzer industry to set yourself up for success. 

The Trend of Wholesale Hard Seltzers: Market Overview

Hard seltzers have changed the alcoholic beverage industry for good. These bubbly drinks have

many attributes that set them apart from other options on the market. Hard seltzers are a popular drink among health-conscious consumers, especially because they are a gluten-free beverage

Hard seltzers are carbonated alcoholic drinks made with fermented sugar, yeast, and carbonated water. They typically have a low alcohol content. Most hard seltzers contain between 4%-6% ABV (see also: ABV calculator). 

The hard seltzer market in the US has exploded in recent years. The hard seltzer market is valued at $13.47 billion

White Claw, Truly, and Bud Light Seltzers are some of the top hard seltzer brands. They all offer unique hard seltzer flavors and product lines. These companies all have strong brand loyalty and brand image.

There are many benefits to selling wholesale hard seltzers. Wholesale distribution increases profit margins.

Selling hard seltzers wholesale increases convenience. Hard seltzer cans are portable and light. Their weight and packaging result in lower shipping and handling costs.

There are many new markets that present growth opportunities. Hard seltzer wholesalers can find many new niche market opportunities in the industry.

There are many opportunities when opening a hard seltzer wholesale business. However, there are also challenges to be aware of. 

The hard seltzer industry is very competitive. The competition makes it necessary to differentiate yourself from other hard seltzer brands. 

Regional alcohol restrictions are another consideration. Labeling, production, and marketing of seltzers all have specific requirements. Many markets have regional restrictions on the alcohol content and marketing of alcohol distribution and sales. Whether you’re selling hard seltzer, beer, or liquor wholesale, it’s important to be aware of restrictions.

Key Takeaway: The hard seltzer market is constantly growing and presents many opportunities. The market is currently valued at over $13 billion.

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Hard Seltzer Trends: 5 Hard Seltzer Trends for 2023

As a hard seltzer business owner, you should know the latest hard seltzer trends.

Wholesale alcohol sales trends for hard seltzer are always changing.

5 Hard Seltzer Trends

1. Unique Flavors

Recent consumer trends reveal demand for new products. Hard seltzer consumers want brands to create new flavors.

Unconventional flavors from your hard seltzer brand can help sell more of these high demand products.

2. Sustainable Packaging

Sustainability is a popular trend in today’s markets.

Consumers are aware of the eco-impact of the food products that they buy. The importance of sustainability to consumers means customers are aware of how sustainable brands are. Your hard seltzer packaging should be environmentally friendly. Recyclable packaging is one way that many hard seltzer brands encourage sustainability.  

3. Craft Seltzer

Specialized products are another consumer preference. A unique customer experience is important for your hard seltzer business. Craft and artisanal seltzers are among the top hard seltzer trends to watch out for this year. 

Craft seltzer can help create a sense of exclusivity within your brand. 

Craft and artisanal hard seltzer trends also support local businesses and economies. Locally made food and drink products are very popular.

4. Health and Wellness

Health and wellness are also big trends in 2023. Trends in hard seltzer show a growing focus on health-conscious drinks. 

Consumers desire healthy options. There are many ways to participate in hard seltzer trends related to health and wellness. 

One way to join this trend is by advertising the natural health benefits of hard seltzers. Marketing that your hard seltzer is a low-calorie and gluten-free beverage through packaging and social media can help with this. 

5. Social Media

Hard seltzer is a popular social media subject. The power of social media can be an effective tool for your hard seltzer brand.

Many top hard seltzer companies use social media to their advantage. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok show people enjoying their products. 

Offering exclusive promotions on social media is another strategy. Discounts and ads on your hard seltzer brand’s social media page can be a good way to attract customers. 

Key Takeaway: Keeping up with the most recent hard seltzer trends can help you increase your hard seltzer sales.

Top Hard Seltzer Distributors and How to Become One

Are you wondering how to run a wholesale distribution business? It can be confusing in such a competitive market. Learn about the top hard seltzer distributors and how to become a hard seltzer distributor. 

Role of Hard Seltzer Distributors

Hard seltzer distributors are part of the booming alcohol distribution industry. 

Hard seltzer distributors are the connection between producers and retailers. The role of hard seltzer distributors is increasingly important as the market grows.

Top Hard Seltzer Distributors 

1. White Claw

White Claw is the top hard seltzer distributor in the market. White Claw was one of the first hard seltzers to hit the market. They captured a large share of the market. They are often at the forefront of trends.

White Claw controls about 50% of the hard seltzer market. They accomplished this by jumping quickly on trends. 

2. Truly

Truly is the next biggest distributor in the market. Together, White Claw and Truly make up 75% of the market today. Their innovative flavors and products help them stay at the top. 

Distinct and colorful hard seltzer packaging sets Truly apart from other distributors. The main demographic for Truly’s is currently women. They are trying to expand to a larger market. 

3. Bud Light 

The third biggest hard seltzer distributor on the market currently is Bud Light Seltzers. They released a line of seltzers, which has become very popular. 

The popularity of the brand’s other products helped its seltzer line take off. They already have a cult following and a lot of credibility in the industry.

Bud Light offers a wide variety of hard seltzer flavors. They are constantly rotating out seasonal and specialty flavors and products. 

Tips to Become a Hard Seltzer Distributor

Business owners who are entering the hard seltzer distribution field have many opportunities to look for. 

A diverse range of product offerings is a great distributor marketing technique for hard seltzer brands. 

It’s also important to define your target market. It's vital to understand your consumers, 

whether you’re selling in a B2B wholesale marketplace or a brick and mortar warehouse.

Key Takeaway: White Claw, Truly, and Bud Light Seltzers are the top hard seltzer brands on the market. 

Distribution Strategy for Hard Seltzer: Reaching the Target

Rapid growth in the beverage industry, specifically the hard seltzer industry, has many business owners rethinking their alcohol distribution strategies.  

Hard Seltzer Distribution Strategy: Understanding the Target Market

Hard seltzer growth in recent years is a result of their consumption by all age groups and genders. Gen-Z and Millennial women are the biggest consumers of hard seltzer. 

The younger generations are likely to try new or novelty beverages. This can be part of your distribution strategy. You can offer unique or innovative flavors. 

Young alcohol consumers use social media more than any other generation. Hard seltzers’ rise in popularity can be attributed to the social media buzz around the drink.

Women consume more hard seltzers than men do. The refreshing, light taste, and low-calorie options make them appealing to women. Hard seltzers have a low ABV; between 4%-7%. Hard seltzers contain less alcohol than the average hard liquor or wine alcohol content.  

Distribution Channels for Hard Seltzers

Selecting your distribution channels is a crucial part of your hard seltzer distribution strategy. If you’re considering how to start a wholesale distribution business, you must understand the different distribution channels. 

The following channels are all good to consider, whether you're considering small-scale or wholesale distribution.

  1. Retail Stores
  2. Online 
  3. Bars and Restaurants
  4. Event Partnerships

Branding for Hard Seltzer

It’s a good idea to create a strong brand identity for your hard seltzer business. Your hard seltzer brand should be easily identified against competing brands. 

Forming a solid brand identity will position your brand in the consumers’ minds. You should use consistent ideas and imagery that are compelling to your target audience. Define your brand within a niche market to showcase your brand values. 

Another aspect of your distribution strategy to keep in mind is the packaging and design of your hard seltzers. Your packaging needs to stand out and capture the attention of consumers. 

Social media presence is a vital part of building a strong brand identity in today’s markets. The values, and personality of your hard seltzer brand should be clear through your online presence. Social media influencers and user-generated content can contribute to your online branding.

Key Takeaway: By understanding the target market and using strategic branding, you can reach your hard seltzer distribution goals.

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How to Start a Hard Seltzer Company: Wholesale Hard Seltzer

If you’re wondering how to start a hard seltzer company, you need to understand the different parts of opening a hard seltzer business. 

How to Start A Hard Seltzer Company

  1. Market Research

Market research and analysis is the first step of starting your wholesale hard seltzer brand. Make sure you understand the current market so you can best enter it. 

There are a few top brands to watch out for in the hard seltzer industry. The top three hard seltzer distributors are White Claw, Truly, and Bud Light Seltzers. Keep up with their business activities to stay on top of hard seltzer trends. 

Pay attention to current hard seltzer trends, including popular flavors and promotions. 

  1. Define Your Business

You must define your business concept. This is an important step when figuring out how to start a hard seltzer company. 

There are some steps to follow when defining your business. The first is to define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). A USP defines a brand’s identity and values. It also defines the factors that set you apart from other wholesale hard seltzer businesses. 

  1. Product Development

The product itself is a vital part of starting a hard seltzer company. When it comes to developing and sourcing hard seltzer, there are many considerations.

The first aspect of developing your product is deciding the product range and flavors.

  1. Branding

Strong branding is an essential step when starting your wholesale hard seltzer company. Branding and packaging are the first impressions your customers get about your hard seltzer.

Your brand image should show your brand’s values and personality. 

  1. Setting Up Your Business

Once the basics of your business and branding are set up, you can start the legal and financial processes. 

There are legal steps you must take to set up your business. Proper permits and licenses, including a liquor license, must be secured. 

Financial planning is also important. Accurately calculate startup costs and other expenses for your hard seltzer brand. 

  1. Distribution and Sales

Distribution and sales channels are a vital part of selling wholesale alcohol. There are many things to take into account while setting up distribution channels.

Effective sales and marketing is also an essential part of your business. Use promotions, product placement, and outreach to position your business.

Key Takeaway: There are many components to creating a successful hard seltzer business. Some of them include market research and strong branding.

Hard Seltzer Packaging: 5 Important Things to Keep In Mind

Hard seltzers are the biggest trend lately in the alcoholic beverage industry. 

Whether you run a local brewery or a wholesale business, packaging is essential. 

Read on to learn 5 things to keep in mind when designing hard seltzer packaging. 

1. Visual Appeal of Hard Seltzer Packaging

The visual appeal is the first element to keep in mind when it comes to hard seltzer packaging. 

Many different aspects make up the visual appeal of hard seltzer product packaging. 

Other visual elements also impact the visual appeal of your packaging. Emphasize brand elements such as your logo, brand name, and tagline. These elements can help promote brand recognition, awareness, and loyalty.   

2. Functional Design of Hard Seltzer Packaging

Functional design is also crucial for hard seltzer packaging. Ideally, hard seltzer packaging should be designed with consumer convenience in mind. This helps foster a positive customer experience

There are other things to consider when it comes to designing hard seltzer packaging. Deciding whether the drink is single-serve or multipack is one important thing to consider. 

User-friendliness is another aspect of hard seltzer packaging to keep in mind. Hard seltzer packaging should be easy to open and intuitive to the consumer.

3. Materials for Hard Seltzer Packaging

The materials you use for hard seltzer packaging are also important. When done right, selecting materials for your hard seltzer packaging can reduce costs. Product packaging can also help the environment. 

Lightweight materials are preferred for hard seltzer packaging because less energy is needed to transport lighter materials. The reduced energy consumption is good for the environment. 

Sustainable hard seltzer packaging can positively impact brand reputation and reduce negative impact. 

4. Labeling on Hard Seltzer Packaging

Product labeling is also an important part of the food and beverage industry

Flavor, alcohol content, and ingredients must be accurately listed on your hard seltzer packaging. Be aware of legal requirements for labeling regarding alcohol distribution. These regulations can differ between regions, so pay close attention.  

5. Brand Consistency of Hard Seltzer Packaging

Reinforcing your brand identity builds associations for the customer. Consumers often lean towards brands they can recognize. 

Brand consistency in your hard seltzer packaging uses a few elements. Visuals, including logos and colors, should be similar across products.

Key Takeaway: Hard seltzer packaging is one of the first things consumers notice. Make sure it is functional, visually appealing, and consistent across products.

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What Is Private Label Hard Seltzer: 3 Things to Know

Here are 3 things you should know about private label hard seltzer.

  1. What Is Private Label Hard Seltzer?

Private label products are products that are retailed, packaged, and sold exclusively by a third party. Suppliers or manufacturers create the product and sell it to the retailer. 

Private label hard seltzers are popular among retailers. High demand for hard seltzer leads many retailers to create their own private label hard seltzer options. 

  1. Market Overview

Hard seltzer is a refreshing and bubbly alcoholic drink. Hard seltzer is gluten free. It also contains low sugar, low-carbs, and low calories. The healthy aspects of hard seltzer contribute to its status as a high demand product

Large retailers like Costco sell their own private label hard seltzers. This helps them compete with big hard seltzer brands such as White Claw. 

  1. Selling Private Label Hard Seltzer

There are advantages and challenges to producing and selling private label hard seltzer.

  1. High Profit Margins 

Many retailers buy their private label hard seltzer wholesale. Buying wholesale alcohol is cost-efficient for businesses. Even if retailers sell their private label hard seltzer at a low cost, they can still maintain a healthy profit margin. 

  1. Customization

The chance to customize and control the product is another major benefit of selling private label hard seltzer.

Retailers can be very involved in the product development process for their seltzers. This involvement in customization can help retailers tailor their products to their demographic. 

  1. Competition

High competition is the main challenge when selling private label hard seltzer. With so many options on the market, it is hard for private labels to stand out. 

Maintaining a strong brand identity and creating new flavors can help private labels stand out. You can also stand out by emphasizing competitive pricing. 

  1. Building Brand Loyalty

Some consumers think private label products are lower quality than name brands. High-quality hard seltzers and strong branding can combat these negative perceptions. Creating a positive customer experience can help support your brand. 

Key Takeaway: Private label hard seltzer is created by a retailer to sell in their store. They are often cheaper than name-brand hard seltzers.

Now you have a better understanding of the hard seltzer industry. Understanding the trends, advantages, and challenges of the industry can help your business. Keep the different aspects of the industry in mind when building your brand.

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