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Seltzers Hit Another Gear; Growing Way Faster This Yr; White Claw and Truly Pass Big Test

Hard seltzers flying off shelves even faster lately, with another huge surge, again accelerating growth, gaining far more share. Seltzer segment up 303% yr-to-date thru Apr 11 in Nielsen all outlet, and 348% last 4 weeks. Gained 4.5 share of $$ YTD to 6.2, up 5.2 for 4 weeks. At same time, top 2 seltzer brands, White Claw and Truly withstood onslaught from some very big guns aimed at them. Bud Light Seltzer launched in Jan with major splash and lotsa fanfare while Corona Seltzer entered mkt a bit later. Those 2 supposedly coming with close to $100 mil in mktg between ’em.  Yet each so far captured modest share. Meanwhile, White Claw and Truly barely skipped a beat. They still have 80 share of segment and growing at a faster clip than last yr, undoubtedly aided as biggest seltzer brands in pantry-loading period. They passed their biggest test yet, with flying colors.  

Hard seltzers got close to 8 share in latest week thru Apr 11 in Nielsen all-outlet (7.8). At 7.2 for last 4 weeks. Never got much past 6 last yr.  That raises prospect of whole ‘nother level of growth ahead of this summer, when comps tuffer. Mike’s prexy Phil Rosse told INSIGHTS he sees 10 share of $$ for seltzer this yr. Hard seltzer category is “on its way” to 8-10 share of total beer this yr, agreed Boston Beer ceo Dave Burwick on Boston’s conference call. Lately, 8 of top 10 growth brands in beer biz are hard seltzer. White Claw had 3, Truly 3, plus Bud Light Seltzer and Corona Seltzer variety packs. 

White Claw franchise up 332% in Nielsen all outlet YTD, compared to 315% last yr.  Truly up 211% YTD this yr, compared to 180% in 2019.  How about seltzer segment share? White Claw at 58.2 share of seltzer yr-to-date in Nielsen, while Truly at 21.9. Last yr in same timeframe, White Claw at 55 share and Truly at 29. While Truly lost lotsa share since early 2019, more recently it’s holding. Truly share in last 4 weeks at 22.2, which is higher than YTDAnd White Claw clawed back mkt share that it initially lost to Bud Light Seltzer. White Claw’s 2d variety pack only out for a few weeks, at 50% ACV but it goosed growth rate big time (over 400%) and is already #3 seltzer brand with 11 share.   

Bud Light Seltzer’s variety pack not even 7 share in latest 4 weeks, but Bud Light Seltzer as a whole over 9 share in latest week. Meanwhile, Bud Light Seltzer share of seltzer segment has reportedly declined for 9 weeks in a row.  Corona Seltzer only had 3.4 share of seltzer segment last 4 weeks. Those 4 90+ share of seltzer segment.  Will Vizzy now make a dent in either White Claw or Truly? Or is structure of segment established? “It’s stunning,” Boston chairman Jim Koch told INSIGHTS, “the one constant is the 2 of us” (White Claw and Truly) have about 80 share” of seltzers thru many changes.

Mike’s Staggering Growth; Up 130%; White Claw 2/3 of Biz; Other Brands Up 15% Mike’s is not pounding its chest in period of pandemic. But the numbers are the numbers.  And just looking at scan data, they’re simply astounding. Up 123% YTD. What about all-channel?  Mike’s up 160% in Mar and still up 130% YTD, Phil said. Yup, you read that right. White Claw now represents 2/3 of Mike’s $$ sales in scan. Yet all its other brands besides White Claw up 15% YTD too. So far, Phil sticking to goal of doubling. That would represent a big slowdown for rest of 2020. If Mike’s doubles, it will be over 10 mil bbls.  

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 51
  • Issue #: 8
Read 474 times Last modified on 05/05/2020