Analysis from market research company Snooper has revealed that new flavours are the key motivating factor for hard seltzer customers.

In a presentation given during The Bloody Big Drinks Summit, Snooper’s Founder and CEO, Laurie Wespes, explained that 66 per cent of customers would be more likely to purchase hard seltzer products if new flavours were available.

Wespes said: “The most important driver was definitely the novelty in flavour, even more important than discounts.”

Indeed, price discounts were cited by 60 per cent of shoppers as a motivating factor, with ‘gift with purchase’ and ‘in-store sampling’, ranking at 35 and 33 per cent respectively.

Snooper’s analysis also assessed the reasons why existing customers buy hard seltzer – with 35 per cent of respondents saying they like that it is a healthier alternative to other alcohol.

Wespes noticed that there is not a lot of brand loyalty amongst seltzer purchasers and said: “48 per cent of our shoppers would actually pick a different brand during their next visit to the shop.”

“In terms of category repertoire, 46 per cent of shoppers would buy it on top of other alcoholic beverages or premix, while 31 per cent would buy seltzer as a replacement of their traditional beverage.”

Snooper devoted a full year review exclusively to hard seltzer, with the company’s analysis beginning in August 2020, and running to September 2021.

Its methodology included the collection of real time data by their community of 135,000 independent shoppers, resulting in data from more than 1,200 shoppers from major metro, minor city and rural areas of Australia during the year-long study. This data included both independent liquor stores and major liquor retail outlets. Snooper also used a shopper survey, with over 200 respondents.

Of these respondents, 51 per cent said they were yet to purchase seltzer, with the main barrier to purchase proving to be ignorance of what hard seltzers are, cited by 68 per cent of those surveyed. This lack of understanding of the category is by far the largest barrier to purchase, with the next greatest being the perception that customers may not like the taste, ranking at 12 per cent.

Snooper suggests a year of incredible growth for hard seltzer, with the category predicted to grow at 90 per cent per year. Customer interest is also on the up – with Google searches for seltzer topics growing by 2,700 per cent against 2020 figures.

Yet, as Snooper’s customer analysis shows, there remains a great untapped market for retailers and brands, with customer education and awareness the key to unlocking even greater returns. Snooper suggested strategic questions for brands, including: “How can you drive product segment awareness and disproportionate share on your brand?” As noted earlier, the development of new flavours will be key in retaining and growing the hard seltzer customer base.


Snooper is a market analysis company that uses crowdsourcing through their community of independent shoppers to gather and present data. The company provides actionable insights to brands, giving them a strategic cutting edge and highlighting ‘growth opportunities in almost real-time’.

The full presentation from Snooper, including more detailed statistics and analysis of the wider seltzer market, can be found here.

This conversation is part of the Bloody Big Drinks Summit, which contains over 70 presentations, panels and keynote addresses. Tickets giving you full access to the summit are just $249.

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