Constellation Brands is preparing to blitz the alcoholic seltzer market with the launch of Corona hard seltzer.
Corona hard seltzer will be introduced in the US on March 1 in four flavours: tropical lime, mango, cherry and blackberry lime. It will check in at 90 calories, 4.5% ABV and zero grams of carbs and sugar. The market leader in the US, White Claw, contains 100 calories, 5% ABV, 2 grams of sugar and 2 grams of carbs.
“Corona carries unbelievably strong brand equity as the number one most loved brand among total population drinkers aged 21 to 54 and that’s why we’ve decided to put the Corona brand name on our new seltzer; and, of course, the refreshment characteristics of seltzers perfectly matches with Corona’s refreshment DNA,” said Bill Newlands, president and CEO at Constellation Brands.
“We obviously have done a lot of product testing a lot of product research to make sure that we have a product that meets or exceeds the other key players in the marketplace. So we are quite comfortable with the sheer quality of the product that we’re going to bring to the table.
“We’re quite bullish on it.”
Corona Extra is the No.7 beer brand in the US beer category and has grown from approximately 90 million cases in 2010 to more than a 110 million cases in 2019. It is one of the few top selling brands in the US to grow this past decade.
In Australia, Corona was voted Fan Favourite Premium Beer at the 2019 Australian Drinks Awards.
Constellation’s beer business continues to drive growth for the company, with a reported Q3 net sales increase of 8.3% to US$1.3billion.
“The launch of Corona hard seltzer will help to further strengthen our position as the leader in the high end of the US beer segment,” Newlands said.
“Our launch strategy includes the largest-ever single brand investment for our portfolio of more than $40million in marketing to support this intro.
“We’ve already started to take orders from distributors and have received incredibly positive feedback from retailers who are excited about the prospects of Corona seltzer and have already incorporated our newest portfolio addition into their shelf set programming plans for the spring selling season.”
Newlands said the company’s research shows that seltzer is taking share across the board from beer, wine and spirits. In beer, it is primarily hitting domestic brands.
“In addition, we are seeing increased overall consumption from those seltzer drinkers and new consumers who are entering the space through their interaction with seltzers.”
He believes there are still huge growth opportunities in the space.
“We believe that there is a lot of upside in the total size of the seltzer business,” Newland noted. “It was roughly 60 million cases in 2019. And we believe there could be two to three times the opportunity going forward and we expect to take a significant share of that opportunity.”
AB In-Bev has just introduced Bud Light Seltzer to its hard seltzer category, which also includes Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer and Natural Light Seltzer.
The seltzer (5% ABV) is made with sparkling water, cane sugar and natural fruit flavorus. It comes in four varieties: black cherry, mango, lemon lime and strawberry.
Below is the first ad for the product:
Bud Light Seltzer will be one of four products that AB InBev spruiks during its four 60-second spots during Super Bowl later this month, along with Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Pure Gold and Michelob Ultra.