If you’ve spent any time at a beach or amongst alcohol-imbibing youths this summer, you’ve probably encountered some spiked seltzer. Truly, there are no laws when you’re drinking Claws, as the surging spiked seltzer category is essentially a license for alcohol brands to print money in 2019. Unsurprisingly, one maker of budget light beer who has seen seltzer take a bite out of their beer sales is now looking to get in on the racket themselves.
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Sometime between now and Labor Day, Natural Light will roll out “Natural Light Seltzer.” The beverage is pretty much exactly what it says: spiked seltzer made by Natural Light, the AB InBev brand popular with young drinkers and anyone that prizes quantity over quality when it comes to beer. According to the Wall Street Journal, flavors so far include Catalina Lime Mixer (“when cherry & lime become best friends,” according to the can) and Aloha Beaches (“when mango & peach go beach mode”).
In addition to the punny flavors, Natural Light Seltzer also hopes to differentiate from “established” seltzer brands by giving drinkers more for less. In addition to your standard 12-ounce beer can, Natural Light Seltzer will come in formidable 25-ounce tall boys. Not only that, but the seltzer will be spiked at 6% alcohol by volume, whereas White Claw weighs in at 5%. To sweeten the deal even more, the Journal says AB InBev aims to sell Natural Light Seltzer for 20% less, which would make it about $1 cheaper for a 12-pack.
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Technically, this isn’t the first time an AB InBev brand has launched a spiked seltzer. The multinational holding company based in Belgium is also responsible for Bon & Viv, which you might recognize from its mermaid-adorned cans. As of last month, Bon & Viv owned less than 8% of the US spiked seltzer market according to Nielsen and Beer Marketer’s Insights, probably because its pear elderflower flavor is trash—that’s at least one writer’s opinion. By launching a new, stronger product leveraging a brand that’s familiar to young drinkers, AB InBev hopes to steal away some of the market currently owned by White Claw (an astounding 54% of total sales) and Truly (29%).
It seems ridiculous to think that Natty Light could make a quality spiked seltzer, but the recent success of Naturdays, an award-winning beer, suggests they might just be able to pull it off. Regardless, these things are sure to enhance (or ruin) many a Labor Day Weekend in the near future.
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