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Hard Seltzer

Refreshing trend from the USA

The American trend drink Hard Seltzer is rapidly entering the German market and offers breweries in particular attractive growth opportunities. With its combination of sparkling water, five percent alcohol by volume and natural flavours, Hard Seltzer hits the nerve of a mindful lifestyle. The fizzy brewed alternative to beer and wine is particularly low in calories and thus scores points with a health-conscious target group.

  • Attractive growth market for breweries without additional investment.
  • Only 3 ingredients: sparkling water, fermented alcohol, natural flavours
  • Health conscious consumption trend: young, urban target group

With Hard Seltzer, a completely new and independent product category is conquering the beverage shelves. The "hard seltzer" is not an alcopop or a spirit mix drink - provided it is brewed. In this production process, the alcohol is obtained from a carbohydrate source (sugar solution) through natural fermentation and ranges around four to six percent by volume.  By using enzymes specially selected for this application, the fermentation time is significantly reduced.

Attractive growth market for breweries

Hard Seltzer has its origins in the USA. Back in the 1990s, a clear sparkling water with a low alcohol content and taste came onto the market. But it was ahead of its time and did not catch on with consumers. After several more attempts, Hard Seltzer embarks on its current triumphant march in 2019. In that year, sales increased by 200 percent. The forecast - even before the Cornona pandemic: within four years, sales in America should triple. According to The Spirit Business, this has overtaken itself and has already been exceeded in 2021¹.

According to a more recent projection, the international market for Hard Seltzer should be worth almost 50 billion US dollars by 2028².

Admittedly, the new product line is a comparatively young segment in the German market. But it is already "bubbling up" here, too. The first Hard Seltzer brands have already entered our supermarkets or can be purchased by small start-ups - and the trend is rising.

Refreshing trend for the health-conscious

Beer is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages among German consumers. However, the brewing industry has seen a sharp decline in sales in recent years. The losses can be attributed above all to the pandemic lockdown and the Corona protection measures in the gastronomy and event sector. 

But even without the pandemic, classic beer is no longer a sure-fire success in this country. Consumption behaviour has changed. The demand for drinks with lower alcohol content is increasing. At the same time, younger consumers are focusing on mindfulness, enjoyment and a healthy diet. The product innovation Hard Seltzer meets this zeitgeist with its low calorie content and little alcohol. Infused with natural flavours, a refreshing taste also conveys an active attitude to life and thus contributes to the success of this beverage category. 


Seize opportunities!

Would you like to know how Hard Seltzer reduces production time? Are you interested in the variety of natural flavours from summery cocktail combinations to minty, tart refreshment? We can support you and work with you to develop sustainable solutions with long-term economic benefits. 

Discover the individual production steps for an alcoholic hard seltzer based on natural fermentation in our infographic. 

Have we aroused your interest? Then fill out the form below and your IMCD contact will get in touch with you shortly.


[1] US hard seltzer sales will ‘far surpass’ 281m cases in 2021 - The Spirits Business

Infographic - How to create a Hard Seltzer

The infographic is only available in German