Hard Fizz has recently announced the release of two new flavours, as it continues on an explosive path of growth in the highly competitive hard seltzer space.
The new flavours are Blueberry Lemonade and Tropical Pineapple, and were developed off the back of both consumer and industry demand, according to Hard Fizz CEO, Wade Tiller.
He said the Blueberry Lemonade was developed in response to demand for a “sweeter but not sugary tasting” seltzer, while Tropical Pineapple came about after reimagining a previously successful limited edition Pineapple and Agave blend. These are the latest in a long line of innovation over the past 12 months for Hard Fizz, which includes things like a natural caffeine seltzer, a ‘NFT seltzer’ in collaboration with NFT project Salty Pirate Crew, and more.
“We’re learning more and more about our consumers, and we’ve got a lot of well-worn-in seltzer consumers now who know what they like in the space,” Tiller said.
“There is also another element where consumers like the proposition, but they’re looking for some more flavour. It’s understandable – when we all entered the market, the true essence of seltzer was to be light in flavour. We’re happy with our core range that does that, so now what we’re trying to do is innovate with purpose.
“We could launch a new flavour each week, I think we have about 40-something developed as we speak. But we need to ask – where does it go? Who’s it for? What’s the occasion? What’s the consumer?”
Each NPD from Hard Fizz therefore aims to fill a specific demand. This is also why the new flavours have different launch strategies, with the Blue Lemonade being an exclusive to Independent Brands Australia retailers, and the Tropical Pineapple currently only being stocked in Queensland Endeavour Group stores.
“We’ve created these innovations and then pitched to customers. The reason we’ve chosen to do a few exclusively is due to interest and support from the customer, but also because it gives us some pretty immediate scale to test and learn the SKU,” Tiller said.
“It allows us to get good scale, so we can co-promote to really drive customers to find it and get greater execution and installments in-store, which is always important for new brands.”
Tiller said for these cases, the purpose of innovation not only benefitted the consumer, but also the retailer, providing a differentiated offer in a key category ahead of summer. This is something that Hard Fizz is keen to explore further, with NPD integral to the brand’s growth strategy.
That growth strategy has some pretty big goals too – Tiller said that after selling its first case in October 2020, Hard Fizz has seen a growth rate of up to 300 per cent, with an aim to double the business again this year.
“I probably underestimated the growth in our first year, but once we got the rate of sale up, we’ve had pretty bullish goals since then,” Tiller said.
“The ambition has been strong to scale this thing fast. We’re up against a lot of really big competitors, and if you don’t push for explosive growth, your share gets eroded. It’s been good to be one of the key challenger brands taking on the multinationals.”
Summer events will help the brand achieve its strong goals, especially as events come back in force after previous years’ restrictions. One example of a growth opportunity that Hard Fizz is taking is with the tour of one of its high profile Co-owners and Ambassadors, Grammy nominated DJ, Paul Fisher. Through Hard Fizz being the exclusive seltzer of Fisher’s tour this month, there will be mass sampling occasions to introduce consumers to the brand and flavours, and in turn, drive them in-store later to purchase.