East Coast Wine Trail

East Coast Wine Trail
East Coast Wine Trail

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Helter Skelter demand for summer seltzers

Have you tried a Quincy yet? Or a White Claw? Or maybe a Fizzer, or Truly Hard?

How about an Actual, a Ray or a Vacay, Fellr or Saintly?

If not then you are well and truly behind the drinks fashion curve.

Those brands - and several others including an offering from distillers Smirnoff - are set to to be the refreshment stars of the Australian summer as promotions for seltzers - basically alcoholic flavoured sparkling mineral waters - go into overdrive.

There is already an online store in Australia selling only seltzers.

Launched last month in Australia, White Claw is the number one hard seltzer in the US.

The managing director of Lion Australia, James Brindley. said three White Claw flavours -  Ruby Grapefruit, Mango and Natural Lime - were being rolled out across retailers and venues Australia-wide from the second week of October.

“We all need a little bit of excitement after what has been a tough 2020,” Brindley said.

“Since we made the announcement mid-year, we have watched the anticipation and demand for White Claw grow locally, and never before have we seen such unprompted and organic enthusiasm for a product."

My favourite: the Rugby Grapefruit, 95 calories, refreshing and gluten free. White Claw comes in four-packs of 330ml cans at an RRP of $24 - a median price point for most seltzers.

So why is 2020-21 set to be the Summer Of Seltzers and Spritzes? Spritzes, by the way, are a close relative of the seltzer; with a w
ine base. Then then are bottled cocktails from the the likes of the West Wind distillery.

Seltzers contains fewer calories than most pre-mixed drinks, and are better for you, allegedly, than a vodka, lime and soda. 

The mineral water is usually blended with vodka, gin or tequila, and a splash of fruit flavouring. Some are dreadfully sweet but they are packed to be perfect for al fresco enjoyment. Think outdoor picnics and parties. 

"The alcoholic seltzer category is exploding and we are stoked to be launching Fizzer just as the weather warms up," says Josh Uljans from Moon Dog Brewing. 

"We think alcoholic stelzers will be absolutely huge in Australiaand it is entirely possible that we could be producing more stelzer than beer in just a few years' time."

One of the first Australian seltzers on the market was Quincy, which promotes itself as "low sugar; lower carb". 

It claims to taste "as refreshing and light as sparkling water, only alcoholic." 

Saintly - from the same stable as Rekorderlig Cider - is promoted as being zero sugar and zero carbs - appealing to the health market - as well as being "all natural, vegan friendly an gluten free". It comes in 4% and 6% alcohol versions. 

Some seltzers will soar, some will fall by the wayside. It probably all comes down to marketing. 


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