Generation healthy: alcoholic seltzer craze sweeps US

AFP
September 16,2019

NEW YORK: Health-conscious American millennials have found their drink of choice: alcoholic carbonated water that is lower in calories and carbs than beer and wine. A hard seltzer craze is sweeping...

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NEW YORK: Health-conscious American millennials have found their drink of choice: alcoholic carbonated water that is lower in calories and carbs than beer and wine. A hard seltzer craze is sweeping the United States as Generations Y and Z pursue healthier lifestyles, influenced by viral trends on Instagram and YouTube.

US sales of the bubbly booze, also called spiked seltzer, have soared almost 200 percent this year compared to 2018, according to research firm Nielsen. “It has replaced other canned alcoholic drinks for me,” says Hannah Stempler, a 25-year-old living and working in New York. Stempler drinks White Claw, the brand at the forefront of America´s beverage fixation this summer. The company said sales were up over 265 percent on-year at the beginning of September and that it holds 61 percent of market share. Truly, another brand, saw sales spike 163 percent in Q2, according to Macquarie market research. From beaches and parks to house parties and boat trips, youngsters were seen drinking White Claw across the Big Apple and other major cities. Panic even struck this month when shopkeepers and retailers reported shortages and the manufacturer said it was working overtime to keep up with demand. Stempler, who works in television, told AFP that one of the reasons she drinks it is because she is “health-conscious. A 12-ounce can of White Claw contains 100 calories and a maximum two grams of carbs. It is also gluten-free. An average beer, in comparison, usually packs 140 calories and five times the number of carbohydrates.

The hard seltzer has five percent alcohol, which comes from fermented sugars. That equals the strength of Budweiser but is considerably less than the 12 percent commonly found in wine. Alcoholic sparkling water comes in several flavors, including mango and cherry, appealing to customers seeking convenient, ready-to-drink cocktails on the go. Sanjiv Gajiwala, White Claw´s senior vice president of marketing, thinks young consumers are turning to hard seltzers because of their moderate alcohol levels and variety of tastes. “Millennials are consumers that grew up on 10 different flavors of Gatorade and cuisines from around the world. When they come to the legal drinking age, they are looking for more,” he told AFP.


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