You can almost feel the ground shaking when the second largest beer producer in America makes an announcement like this…
Here’s the deal…
In a profound shift of emphasis, brewing giant Molson Coors is investing millions to increase its ability to make hard seltzers, which continue to sell like crazy in spite of the headwinds brought on by COVID-19.
The company which was formed in 2005 by the merger of Molson of Canada, and Coors of the US, has already installed a new canning line at its facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and is in the process of adding a new filtration system to “more than quintuple” its ability to make hard seltzer.
“And all of this happened with the coronavirus pandemic as a backdrop, which forced brewery employees to handle the upgrades without the typical benefit of contractors and engineering firms on hand to help transition and commission new lines, says Greg Moore, senior packaging manager at the Fort Worth brewery.
Molson Coors has been steadily gaining ground in the fast-growing hard seltzer category. Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water, which the company launched in 2017, currently holds a 2% share of the global hard seltzer market.
In April the multi-national brewer upped its commitment to hard seltzers with a new brand that taps into two growing consumer directives, interest in caloric intake and the search for healthier lifestyle
Vizzy launched as the first hard seltzer made with antioxidant vitamin C from acerola super fruit and comes in four flavors: Pineapple Mango, Black Cherry Lime, Blueberry Pomegranate and Strawberry Kiwi. Each 12-ounce serving contains 100 calories, 1 gram of sugar and 5% alcohol by volume.
“The thing we have seen consistently with this category is that all of the big hard seltzers are following the same playbook: same flavors, low calorie count, low sugar,” says Elizabeth Hitch, director of hard seltzers for Molson Coors told Beer & Beyond “When we created Vizzy, we knew we needed to come to the segment with a distinct point of difference that consumers actually care about, and antioxidant vitamin C consistently rose to the top.”
Hard seltzer sales are up nearly 300% so far in 2020, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data through March 28.
And while the overall beer category continues to struggle with on-premise sales destroyed by state mandated bar, restaurant and taproom closures…consumers continue to turn to hard seltzers, which have seen sales skyrocket some 327% in the same time period.
US sales in the hard seltzer hit $1.5 billion last year. And with the US hard seltzer market expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2021, big beer producers including Molson Coors, Corona and Budweiser are increasingly investing in the segment.
Want more on this red hot beverage phenomenon?