Despite hard seltzer’s fast pass to fame, the Super Bowl crowd is sticking to beer.
In a recent report released by data-driven consulting firm Morning Consult, 44 percent of Super Bowl partygoers said they plan on drinking light beer, while only 22 percent will enjoy hard seltzer. Of those who plan to watch the Super Bowl without attending a party, 30 percent will drink light beer, and 11 percent will drink hard seltzer.
Ron Alvarado, co-founder of California hard seltzer brand Ficks Beverage Co., thinks “hard seltzer is becoming the new light beer,” and explains that “a lot of people didn’t like the taste of light beer, but would drink them anyway because they’re lower in carbs.”
Others insist that this Super Bowl could provide a unique opportunity for the hard seltzer category. Beryl Jacobson, co-founder of hard kombucha and seltzer brand Flying Embers, emphasized that without huge parties people are less likely to buy generic beer in bulk.
This could be what’s led large companies like Anheuser-Busch to pivot from game day beer ads to commercials for hard seltzer. This year, for the first time in 37 years the brewer will not advertise its flagship Budweiser, and instead highlight brands like Bud Light Seltzer and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer.
All in all, from 2019 to 2020, hard seltzer consumption in the United States grew 142 percent by volume. The category has evolved towards new options like hard lemonade and tea seltzers, and is constantly assuming new brands. With or without the Super Bowl, it’s safe to say that watermelon, mango, and black cherry fans abound. Maybe football’s just not their thing.