Bud Light Seltzer Drops Lemonade Flavor

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Roughly a year after venturing into the hard seltzer market, Bud Light is introducing a lemonade-tinged brand extension to make further inroads into the category. The new line, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, is based on consumer research that revealed the “biggest opportunity” in the growing seltzer market was for a lemonade-flavored drink, according to Andy Goeler, vice president of marketing for Bud Light. 

Roughly a year after venturing into the hard seltzer market, Bud Light is introducing a lemonade-tinged brand extension to make further inroads into the category. 

The new line, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, is based on consumer research that revealed the “biggest opportunity” in the growing seltzer market was for a lemonade-flavored drink, said Andy Goeler, vice president of marketing for Bud Light

“We’re seeing consumers reinvent their ‘easy-drinking’ occasions, and their flavor profiles are continually changing,” Goeler said. “There’s still great business potential in hard seltzer, and we’re prepared to deliver the variety they are seeking under the trusted name of Bud Light Seltzer.” 

Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade will be available nationwide beginning January 18 in 12 oz., slim can variety packs featuring the four new flavors, Original Lemonade, Black Cherry Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, and Peach Lemonade. In advance of this availability, the brand launched a marketing campaign during the NFL wildcard playoff games that aired January 9-10. 

The campaign features two new commercials in which people proclaim the new drink is better than their own grandmother’s lemonade. Understandably, the grandmothers are none too pleased with the idea and humorously retaliate. In one spot, for instance, a woman punctures her grandson’s tire with a knitting needle. In another, a grandmother destroys a treasured family heirloom in the garbage disposal. 

Those spots will continue to run throughout the NFL playoffs, Goeler said. Bud Light is traditionally one of the most prominent Super Bowl advertisers. Goeler declined to disclose any marketing plans for Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade (or any of the other brands in the portfolio) but noted, “We’re really excited for the game this year.”

Seltzer has become the growth category for alcoholic beverages. After several years of being a niche category, the segment has exploded over the past four years. According to market research company T4, total revenues for the category in 2016 were $41 million. For the 52-week period that ended on December 26, 2019, hard seltzer category retail sales reached $4.1 billion, according to CNBC (citing Nielsen data).

Over the past two years, several major breweries have used their beer brands to enter the hard seltzer category, including Coors, Corona, and Natural Light. According to Nielsen, there are now more than 65 hard seltzer brands on the market  – up from 10 in 2018 – about half of which are pivoting off an existing beer brand’s name. 

Since its introduction last January, Bud Light Seltzer has captured a nearly 12% share among its biggest competitors in the market, Goeler said. The brand is one of the top 20 fastest growing brands by name association, according to Morning Consult

“Seltzer is bringing more consumers into the category; it’s bringing consumers from wine and spirits,” Marcel Marcondes, U.S. chief marketing officer for AB InBev, told Brand Innovators in an interview in November 2020.  “Bud Light Seltzer grew 3x faster than its launch month in January, and grew double the rate of seltzer as a segment, so we managed to go from zero to 10% market share within seltzers in just a few weeks.”


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