Hard seltzer, or hard soda, as it is also known, is definitely trending with people right now. However, most drink researchers say that hard seltzer is more than a passing fad.
This fashionable drink really is finding its niche. It is easy to understand because its crisp and gently flavoured taste is a big hit for those looking for something with more flavour than beer or lager.
The fact that you can pick up ready-mixed hard seltzers off the shelf in convenient individual cans is also a hit with those who love soda water-based drinks that they don't have to mix themselves.
All the flavour combinations under the sun
What is probably most appealing about hard seltzers is that buyers can choose from so many different flavours. Some hard seltzers use a vodka base mixed with some intriguing fruit flavours, plus the carbonation levels of the soda water can vary significantly from intensely bubbly to smoothly fizzy.
With so many fruity, sour or spicy flavours, there truly is a hard seltzer for everyone!
Alcohol level-wise, hard seltzers are usually around the same level as an average light beer. But offer those wanting to keep down their sugar and carbohydrate consumption a great alternative option.
On average, most hard seltzers have around 100 calories per 12 oz can and, depending on the fruit juice content, have about 0-5g of sugar, which is great for those following a low carbohydrate or keto diet!
Hard seltzers also tend to be gluten-free, so they are better for coeliacs that need to avoid grain-based beer and ale. The alcohol content falls around 4.5 to 5 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV).
What are the most popular hard seltzer flavours?
When it comes to experimenting with flavours for your new hard seltzer drink creation, the sky's the limit when it comes to taste. Major drink manufacturers are creating and trialling new flavours every day, and it seems that hard seltzer fans are more than keen to try something new.
It seems that there are favourite flavours that drinkers are reaching for more than others, but this doesn't mean you have to go with what is popular right now. You could try basing your drink on one of the top ten favourite flavours and giving it a unique twist by using our Blending and Compounding services to come up with something new.
Here are the top ten hard seltzer flavours trending worldwide at the time of writing:
1. Black cherry
Trend changes are on the horizon
Watching the hard seltzer market trends is pretty interesting because it is such a volatile place right now. With new flavours hitting the market almost every day, it is easy to see why the top ten most popular flavours may not hold their spot for long.
Black cherry currently holds a 26.4% market share and has topped the flavour charts for three years. However, tropical flavours such as mango and pineapple are rapidly climbing the charts to threaten black cherry for the top spot.
The hard seltzer marketplace is set to be shaken up once again, with leading beer brand Bud Light introducing a range of classic soda flavours in 2022. Their new line even includes a sour range for those looking for more zing from their seltzer.
The Bud Light range includes four classic soda flavours with five per cent alcohol by volume and zero sugar. The flavours are Classic Cola, Cherry Cola, Orange Soda and Citrus Soda. This shows that you can draw inspiration for your own hard seltzer range from what is currently popular and what flavours have always been popular throughout history.
Dare you go sour with your seltzer?
As drink trends go, doing something a little bolder can often pay off. Hard seltzers are already a significant disruptor to the alcoholic drink sector. Still, it can be very lucrative to drill down even further and look for your niche spot within the larger market.
Even Bud Light are daring to bring out a range of sour hard soda-based drinks that are guaranteed to tingle your taste buds. They are introducing a 12-pack of slim cans with watermelon, lemon, blue raspberry and lime flavours.
Thinking outside of the box can often pay off when deciding on flavours for your own range of hard seltzer drinks. The craft drink revolution has taken the market by storm in recent years. This means that if you can create a truly niche drink with limited availability and rarity, you could be on to a guaranteed winner.
Think along the lines of adding a seasonal drink to your range that is only available for a short while each year. Christmas is the perfect time to bring out a special seasonal hard seltzer using some classic Christmas or winter-themed flavours, such as apple and cinnamon, toffee apple, cranberry or even egg nog.
Draw inspiration from classic cocktails
Looking for a flavour to add to your hard seltzer range or kick off your first drink can be as easy as looking for inspiration from classic cocktails that people already love.
A whole new generation of drinkers would snap up a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, low-alcohol version of their favourite cocktail drinks. What would work particularly well with hard seltzers are cocktail flavours based around wonderfully fruity flavours. Think apples, berries and citrus.
Don't forget that our team at David Berryman Ltd. are here to help you with your hard seltzer drink development. We can help you with everything from your recipe development to creating an eye-catching can sleeve design and low-volume canning so you can test the market with your new drink without breaking the bank.