Hard facts on hard seltzers in Ireland: Five CGA insights

While hard seltzers is still a new and relatively small drinks category in Ireland’s On Premise, it offers exciting potential for suppliers and operators. Here are five messages from CGA by NielsenIQ’s market-leading sales and consumer research services to help businesses to crack the market.

1 Growing choice

Hard seltzers may be fresh to the market, but range is increasing fast. CGA’s On Premise Measurement service shows the number of products on sale has gone from three to 11 in the last three years, with established suppliers and new brands investing and innovating heavily. Growth has been powered by new flavour launches from big brands, like mango, lime, cherry and raspberry and rhubarb.

 

2 Five-fold increase in sales

These new products have powered rapid take-up of hard seltzers. Sales in Ireland’s On Premise in the year to August totalled €2.1 million—more than five times the value of €0.4 million just three years ago. It means hard seltzers now have a 6.4% value share of the RTD category, compared to 5.4% in 2019.

 

3 Rising consumer awareness

There has also been a dramatic increase in consumer awareness of hard seltzers since the start of COVID-19. CGA’s latest On Premise User Survey found that more than half (54%) have now heard of them—up by eight percentage points in the last 12 months. This is translating into interest, with two in five (41%) people saying they would be likely to try hard seltzers if they were available when out.

 

4 Value a big factor…

The OPUS research found that nearly a third (31%) of consumers are motivated to buy hard seltzers by price. Another fifth (21%) said promotions or offers were driving factors. This flags the importance of value in this category—something that may well become even more significant as consumers’ discretionary spending is squeezed.

 

5 … But quality crucial too

Consumers are increasingly demanding about their On Premise experiences, so they demand high standards as well as value. Nearly a fifth (18%) say they are motivated to buy hard seltzers by their quality, and a quarter (24%) cite taste as a big consideration.

 

“The hard seltzers category is quickly gaining traction across Ireland’s On Premise, and it plays very well to consumers who want something different and healthier after COVID-19,” says Sian Brennan, CGA by NielsenIQ’s client director, Ireland. “Competition is likely to get fierce in the months ahead, so suppliers will need to properly understand consumers’ needs here, and identify the sweet spot of value and quality.”

 

CGA’s powerful combination of sales data and consumer research provides deep insights into hard seltzers and many more drinks categories in Ireland’s On Premise, helping suppliers and operators build market share and loyalty. To learn more, email Sian Brennan at sian.brennan@cgastrategy.com.

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