Summary

Since their inception in 2013, hard seltzers have gained immense popularity in the United States, characterized by their low alcohol content and calorie count, and gluten-free nature. With over 80 brands in the market by 2020, including big players like AB InBev and newcomers like Coca-Cola, sales soared to $1.3 billion. The market dominance by brands such as White Claw signals a robust growth trajectory. In 2020, the trend spread to France, with market entry by both American brands such as Snowmelt and French startups like Natz and FeFe. French craft producers are differentiating their products with "organic" and "natural" labels to appeal to quality-conscious consumers. The French market, while still in nascent stages, is poised for growth with initiatives like the French mineral water group Ogeu launching its Alqua brand hard seltzer in 2021.

Emerging Trends in the French Hard Seltzer Market

The demand for hard seltzers in France is beginning to take shape, following the remarkable success of these products in the United States. Since their inception, hard seltzers have won the hearts of American consumers, characterized by their relatively low alcohol content of between 4 and 6 degrees, low-calorie count, and gluten-free nature. In the French market, the demand for hard seltzers appears to be blooming, with tendencies towards American-style beverages but with a distinctly French twist.

Brands like Snowmelt have made their way overseas to France, while local start-ups such as Natz and FeFe are aiming to capitalize on what they see as a market ripe with potential.  Major global beverage groups such as AB InBev and Coca-Cola have already thrown their hats into the ring, suggesting a keen interest in the French market and the hard seltzer segment as a whole.

On the horizon for the French market is the entry of hard seltzer products by the domestic mineral water company Ogeu under its brand Alqua, slated for launch in 2021. This move underscores the growing appetite among traditional beverage companies to dive into this trending category. Despite being at its nascent stage, the French market for hard seltzers is predicted to capture around 1% of the total alcoholic beverage market by 2025, signaling a modest but significant growth trajectory.

French craft producers are positioning themselves with products labeled "organic" and "natural," particularly in terms of flavors, aiming to capture a share of the market comparable to high-end beers. In summary, the French hard seltzer market, though still in its early days, is attracting a diverse range of players and is expected to see a notable expansion. With both international and French brands vying for consumers' attention, the stage is set for a broad and dynamic market to unfold in the coming years.

The Pioneers and New Entrants in the Hard Seltzer Market Landscape

The hard seltzer market has seen rapid growth and a diversification of players since its inception. Here are snapshots of the major brands and newcomers that are shaping this beverage segment:

  • - White Claw: Dominating the U.S. market with a significant share, White Claw is the flagbearer of hard seltzers’ popularity. Created by Mark Anthony Brands, it has set the benchmark with its variety of flavors and has become synonymous with the category.

 

  • - Bon & Viv : A brand that caught the attention of industry giant AB InBev, Bon & Viv has integrated into the portfolio of a company best known for its beer presence. AB InBev's acquisition exemplifies the beverage behemoth's strategy to capitalize on the booming hard seltzer segment.

 

  • - Coca-Cola : A relative latecomer to the party, Coca-Cola threw its hat into the ring in 2021, signaling the sector's attractiveness even to companies not typically associated with alcoholic beverages.

 

  • - Natz : As an entrepreneurial response to the growing trend, Natz represents the spirit of innovation and adaptability within the French market. As a startup, it seeks to entice consumers with the allure of a new local player in the emerging European hard seltzer landscape.

 

  • - FeFe : Another start-up entering the French market, FeFe is aiming to differentiate itself with an emphasis on "organic" and "natural" ingredients, intending to appeal to consumers seeking more health-conscious alcoholic options.

 

  • -  Snowmelt : An American brand expanding its horizons to the French shores, Snowmelt hopes to export the success it has enjoyed in its home market by tapping into the growing appetite for hard seltzers in Europe.

 

  • - Ogeu Group : The seasoned French mineral water company is preparing to venture into the hard seltzer market with the launch of their brand Alqua. Ogeu's entry illustrates the cross-category interest in hard seltzers, as established non-alcoholic beverage companies aim to diversify their product line-ups.

The market is witnessing a great deal of innovation and a scramble for market share. The incumbents are joined by spirited start-ups and unexpected entrants, all positioning themselves strategically amidst a backdrop of evolving consumer preferences. With targeted offerings that play into the organic and natural trends, players like Natz and FeFe are exemplifying a localized approach to a trend that has swept across the Atlantic. 

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  • Number of pages : 30 pages
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  • Last update : 04/07/2022
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Hard seltzers are alcoholic and flavored carbonated waters, often sold in cans, which have been very successful in the United States since their creation in 2013. They are characterized by a fairly low alcohol content (between 4 and 6 degrees), a low calorie content and are also "gluten-free".

In 2020, there are no less than 80 brands on the American market, manufactured either by brewers or by specialists in spirits or lemonade. Sales in the US reached 1.3 billion US$ in 2019 - dominated by the brand White Claw - and a very strong growth is expected in the coming years. So much so that the big global groups are increasingly interested in this market - such as AB InBev with the purchase of Bon & Viv in 2016, and Coca-Cola in 2021.

Hard seltzers will arrive in France in 2020 - either directly by American brands such as Snowmelt, or via start-ups - such as Natz or FeFe - who see a high potential market. Forecasts for 2025 expect hard seltzers to represent 1% of the total alcoholic beverage market in France.with prices comparable to high-end beers, French craft producers are banking on "organic" and "natural" labels, especially for flavors.

The French market remains embryonic but attracts a wide variety of players. The French mineral water groupOgeuis preparing to launch a hard seltzer in 2021 with its brandAlqua.

1.2 Marché mondial

Le marché des hard seltzers connait un fort succès, qui promet ce type de boissons à une croissance rapide. Sur la période ****-****, le CAGR devrait s'élever à **,*%. En ****, le marché mondial pourrait s'approcher des ** milliards $US.

Évolution du chiffre d'affaires des hard seltzers Monde, ****-****, milliards $US Source: ...

1.3 Marché national

Le marché français des hard seltzers est tout récent : son lancement date de novembre ****. Les premiers mois, la boisson ne générait que quelques dizaines de milliers d'euros en GMS. Mais entre mars et avril ****, le chiffre d'affaires de ce segment a bondi de ***%. 

Évolution du chiffre ...

1.4 Le hard seltzer, une tendance post-Covid

La crise sanitaire et les confinements associés ont renforcé et accéléré certaines tendances déjà balbutiantes. En matière de consommation d'alcool, la crise a révélé différentes attentes : les consommateurs désirent consommer des produits originaux, et vivre une expérience. Cette demande d'une consommation ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 La clientèle cible est jeune et urbaine

La génération des millenials, sensibilisée aux enjeux de santé et cherchant à réduire sa consommation d'alcools forts, est la catégorie d'acheteurs au plus fort potentiel pour la boisson. Ce nouveau produit répond à leurs attentes : moins de calorie, moins de sucre, sans édulcorant et sans gluten, ainsi ...

2.2 Un substitut à la demande de vin et de bière

La consommation d'alcool en France n'a fait que décroître depuis ** ans. Le vin de consommation courante, dont la consommation a été divisé par ** depuis ** ans, a laissé place aux vins plus qualitatifs, consommés de manière moins fréquente. La consommation de bière a beaucoup reculé également, ...

2.3 La tendance des Ready-to-Drink

Aux États-Unis, le segment des hard seltzers accélère le marché des Ready-to-Drink autant qu'il est renforcé par lui. D'ici ****, ce marché pourrait peser plus de ** milliards $US. 

Évolution du chiffre d'affaires des RTD Monde, ****-****, milliards $US Source: ****

En effet, deuis quelques années, ce format, associé mentalement ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Un marché fortement concurrentiel dominé par les industriels de la boisson

De nombreux industriels de la boisson, qui possèdent des capacités de financement marketing conséquentes, se sont lancés sur ce segment :

Toutefois, certains ont dû faire marche arrière, devant la forte concurrence sur le secteur. Ainsi, Bacardi-Martini aurait retiré son produit des rayons dès **** [***]

Part de ...

3.2 Procédé de fabrication

Les hard seltzers sont principalement fabriqué par les brasseurs de bière, puisque la première méthode pour en obtenir était similaire à celui de la bière. Depuis, deux méthodes existent :

La méthode de la fermentation, qui est celle de la bière. Le liquide alcoolisé est obtenu ...

3.3 Pénétration de marché

Après l'épreuve de vérité de l'été ****, il est possible de dire que les hard seltzers n'ont pas rencontré le succès escompté sur le marché français. Le taux de pénétration s'élevait à *,*%, pour une moyenne hebdomadaire à *,* litres en hypermarchés, où le nombre de ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Packaging et prix

Si les goûts varient, la boisson est commercialisée selon un packaging standardisé :

Source: ****

Trois enjeux devraient guider la diversification de l'offre :

Moins de calories ; Moins de sucre ; Moins d'alcool. 

Les contenants sont traditionnellement des canettes, plus communes aux États-Unis, mais le format bouteilles en verre séduit également les ...

4.2 Des produits plus faibles en calorie que la bière

Source: ****

4.3 Nouveaux acteurs et diversification de l'offre

Le marché des hard seltzers en France étant tout récent, on observe une quantité importante de marques qui essaient de se faire une place et de conquérir des parts de marché. Les acteurs français ne sont pas en reste, et proposent des produits toujours plus originaux. C'est le ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Encadrement strict de la consommation d'alcool

En tant que boisson alcoolisée, en moyenne à *%, le hard seltzer doit respecter les normes en vigueur régulant la production et la vente d'alcool, et notamment la loi Évin.

Production 

L'étiquetage des bouteilles d'alcool est strict et doit obligatoirement comporter les éléments suivants : type de boisson, ingrédients, ...

5.2 Législation "prémix"

Il est encore incertain si les hard seltzers tombent ou non sous la législation prémix (***), mise en place par Roselyne Bachelot lorsqu'elle était ministre de la Santé, et qui a obéré les perspectives de croissance sur ce segment. Il semblerait que les hard seltzers soient considérés ...

List of charts

  • Évolution du chiffre d'affaires des hard seltzers
  • Évolution du chiffre d'affaires des hard seltzers
  • Évaluation de la dimension urbaine des ventes de hard seltzers
  • Part de marché en valeur par marque
  • Share of household budget spent on alcoholic beverages
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Latest news

80 Carrefour hypermarkets operated under franchise or leasing agreements - 14/11/2023
  • On October 20, Carrefour announced its intention to switch 37 stores (comprising 15 hypermarkets and 21 supermarkets) to lease management.
  • Since 2018, 80 hypermarkets have left integrated status, representing around a third of all hypermarkets.
  • Around 75% of supermarkets (784 out of 1038) are currently leased or franchised.
Carrefour to lease out 37 stores - 21/10/2023
  • Carrefour plans to lease out 37 new stores in 2022, 16 hypermarkets and 21 supermarkets.
  • Around 4,000 employees affected
  • The company launched an outsourcing program in 2018.
  • The number announced is in line with previous years: 41 stores (including 16 hyper) in 2023, 43 stores (including 16 hyper) in 2022, and 47 stores (including 10 hyper) in 2021.
  • Since Alexandre Bompard took over as CEO, 305 stores, including 80 hypermarkets, have been outsourced, affecting more than 23,000 employees.
Food: Carrefour joins forces with seven manufacturers to promote plant-based products - 07/09/2023
  • The aim of the international coalition to accelerate sales of plant-based alternatives is to achieve joint sales of 3 billion euros in this niche by 2026.
  • Carrefour's share will be 500 million euros, a 60% increase on today's figure.
  • Plant-based alternatives represented a market worth 553 million euros in 2022
  • Sales of plant-based products are enjoying double-digit growth.
Heineken withdraws permanently from Russia - 28/08/2023
  • Heineken, the world's second-largest brewer, sells its Russian assets for a symbolic one euro.
  • Heineken suffered a loss of some 300 million euros on the sale.
  • The assets include seven local breweries and other activities sold to the Arnest group, Russia's largest manufacturer of cosmetics, household goods and metal packaging.
  • Carlsberg has had its Russian operations seized by the authorities, and has therefore not yet left the country.
  • The Anheuser-Busch InBev group (Corona, Budweiser, Stella Artois) still owns a stake in a Russian beer manufacturer.
  • Russia accounts for only 2% of Heineken's beer sales
  • Its Russian company employs 1,800 people
Heineken celebrates 150 years - 28/08/2023

150th anniversary of Heineken

Carrefour takes over Cora to avoid being left behind in France - 13/07/2023
  • Carrefour acquired 60 Cora hypermarkets and 115 Match supermarkets.
  • The acquisition cost was 1.05 billion euros.
  • The acquired store networks have a strong presence in the Grand Est and Northern regions of France.
  • With this acquisition, Carrefour's sales will increase by 5.2 billion euros, adding to the 42 billion euros it currently generates in France.
  • Carrefour will take over 55 hypermarkets and 77 supermarkets.
  • The combined market share of Carrefour and Cora will reach 22.6%, competing closely with Leclerc (22.4%).
  • Carmila, the real estate company in which Carrefour holds a 36% stake, has reached an agreement to take over Louis Delhaize's 93% stake in Galimmo, a company owning 52 shopping arcades adjacent to Cora stores.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Carrefour Groupe
Heineken International BV
Coca-Cola Europacific Partners France CCEP
Ogeu Groupe

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