The hard seltzer category has seen huge success in many markets around the world, particularly in the US, and while it is a relatively new category in Australia’s on-premise arena, new research from CGA by NielsenIQ shows there is huge potential.

CGA’s most recent deep dive into on-premise consumer trends (OPUS) highlights a 67 per cent increase in engagement with the hard seltzer category. The research showed that in the Autumn of 5.3 per cent of Australian consumers were drinking hard seltzers when visiting the on-premise, and this has grown to 8.9 per cent by Spring 2022.

Additionally, OPUS shows that not only trial is evident, but also repeat purchase, with 42 per cent of Australian hard seltzer drinkers stating that they are now drinking the category more frequently versus a year ago. 

A number of different serve formats have already hit the Australian on-premise, something that took a lot longer in the US as the category was initially building.

The latest research shows that 38 per cent of Australian hard seltzer drinkers have already tried it on draught, with another 50 per cent saying that they would consider the category in this format. 

James Phillips, client solutions director – ANZ, said: “These latest OPUS insights show that there is a growing degree of consumer interest and engagement with the hard seltzer category in Australia.

“Inevitably, this leads to competition, so drinks suppliers really need to understand how to position their specific hard seltzer offering, and how sales-critical consumer segments respond to their brands in different serve formats.

“Get this right, and they will be able to offer their customers high quality advice and can better present an opportunity for them to list the right assortment, in the optimal range of formats, of this growing category.”

So what is driving these high levels of consumer engagement? A desire for health and wellness seems to be a big influence, as hard seltzers are the second most popular category for consumers choosing them when they’re making a ‘healthier’ decision (18 per cent).

Since hard seltzers typically have fewer calories, brands have an opportunity to target a growing consumer segment in Australia who are looking for healthier drink options – with 36 per cent of all on-premise visitors saying they are likely to base their drink decision on whether it was low in sugar or fat.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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