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- Four Loko, PBR, and Natural Light are making moves to join the hard seltzer industry.
- Seltzer is “the drink of summer 2019,” reported Sheila Marikar of The New York Times.
- Americans seeking healthier options are turning to seltzer and spiked seltzer as an alternative to soda and beer.
- Millennials, in particular, are so health-conscious that they’ve been referred to as the “wellness generation.”
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On Tuesday, Four Loko teased the launch of its own hard seltzer on social media.
The company labeled it the “hardest seltzer in the universe,” with 14% alcohol by volume – nearly triple the ABV of hard-seltzer industry leader White Claw, reported Business Insider’s Kate Taylor.
Four Loko is joining PBR and Natural Light, both of which also released hard seltzers with higher alcohol content this week, in a competition for the American “bros” who are fueling the hard seltzer industry.
Hard seltzer is one category of sparkling water, which Sheila Marikar of The New York Times called “the drink of summer 2019.” Sparkling water – which includes club soda and seltzer – has been around since the 18th century and has long been viewed as a non-alcoholic alternative to boozy drinks. Today, it’s a booming industry attracting millions of dollars in venture capital investment, Marikar wrote.
According to the Times, a number of seltzers – from mainstays like LaCroix and Canada Dry to newcomers like Spindrift and Waterloo – are meeting the consumer demand. As the growth of hard seltzer brands indicates, even spiked seltzer, like Truly and White Claw, is making its way into many a hand – Americans spent $389 million on the beverage in the first half of 2019, a 210% increase from 2018, reported Marikar, citing Nielsen data.
Fueling this trend is millennials’ fixation on health and wellness, Marikar wrote: They’re seeking a healthier alternative to soda, and prefer to consume natural food and drink sans synthetics.
Seltzer plays right into the health and wellness trend
An affinity for seltzer is just the latest embodiment of the growing health and wellness industry, which has become a status symbol among Americans.
And while seltzer might currently be getting the spotlight, this trend is evident in many of the lifestyle choices millennials are making. They’ve been dubbed the “wellness generation” by Sanford Health, thanks to their increased spending on health and wellness. Healthier lifestyle choices are making their mark on the generation’s spending choices in a variety of ways – think $50 to $100 fancy water bottles (like S’well), which millennials have turned into a status signifier, reported Amanda Mull for The Atlantic.
Americans are also committing to pricey gym memberships like Manhattan’s $900-a-month Performix House and the $200-plus membership gym chain, Equinox; eating healthy, shopping for organic foods in pricey stores like Whole Foods, and drinking $10 green juices; opting for apartments with wellness amenities; and taking wellness-inspired escapes, like the $10,000-per-week Golden Door spa retreat.
“Wellness is increasingly regarded as a modern embodiment of luxury, and accordingly, an array of spas and studios offering treatments like cryofacials, weeklong retreats, and vitamin IV drips are delivering those experiences,” Business Insider’s Lina Batarags wrote.