How Hard Seltzer's Waning Popularity Is Impacting Boston Beer Co.

Hard seltzers were once the drink of the summer — the bubbly, refreshing alcoholic beverages were perfect to sip on warm summer nights. They usually feature a light, fruity flavor, and are often low-calorie. Truly states on their website that their hard seltzers are also gluten-free, and contain 5% alcohol by volume, with alcohol made from cane sugar.

According to Business Insider, Truly dominated the hard seltzer market, along with White Claw, from May 2020 to 2021, making up 75% of the market share combined. They report that the hard seltzer craze really took America by storm in 2018, despite several brands having been on the market for years prior, but the fad began to slow down in summer 2021 as sales dipped.

Now, Boston Beer Co. — the parent company of brands like Truly Hard Seltzer, Twisted Tea, Angry Orchard, and Samuel Adams — is facing the fallout of the decreased interest in hard seltzers.

Sales have slowed for seltzers

Boston Beer Co. reported in a press release that Truly sales had declined in 2022, after three years of growth. They state that their gross margins were down 2.6% from where they were last year, and they saw a 1.1% decrease in product shipments.

Despite the decrease in sales, Boston Beer Co. Founder and Chairman Jim Koch stated in the press release that he remained optimistic about growth of the brand, and CEO Dave Burwick says the company is working to turn around the slowing trend and improve sales. They reportedly plan to use real fruit juice to improve their drink flavors as a first step in their long-term strategy towards increasing sales.

In a Tasting Table survey, nearly 23% of the 588 survey respondents preferred Truly over any other hard seltzer brand. Although the brand's sales may have decreased in the last year, they are still popular among drinkers, and could see a comeback.