Seltzer Storm: Is India Ready To Tap Into This Sparkling Beverage Trend?
There’s a new trend that has been bubbling in the beverage industry. It’s refreshing, delicious and far lower in calories than beer and wine.
Meet the seltzer, an alcoholic carbonated water-based drink that has been taking the U.S. over by storm. Thanks to Gen Z’s new love for social gatherings that are less focused on alcohol and mornings less clouded by its after effects, seltzer fever has become the latest craze amongst young drinkers. And experts predict that it’s coming to India soon.
“It’s a trend that’s definitely picking up across the world, and India will be no exception,” affirms Amar Shrivastava, Head of Technical and Consultancy at Brewer World and India’s first craft brewer. “Previously, it has been seen that trends in the U.S. transform into a cult and then come to India. And right now, the trend is choosing low calories over high. Since seltzers are made with sparkling water, the calorie-count is significantly slashed with one pint of seltzer carrying roughly 80 to 90 calories.”
So how exactly are seltzers made?
“Seltzers can be made in a variety of ways,” explains Amar. “There is one type of seltzer that is brewed like just any other beer style – wherein it is fermented and then there is a process where you extract all the colour and flavour. Once that is done you add your preferred flavour to it.
There is another type of seltzer that is made from wine and purified to an extent – to which flavours are then added separately.
There are also seltzers made from extra neutral alcohol (ENA). This is ready-to-drink where you can blend it with any alcohol along with some sparkling water, add some flavours and then pack in cans or bottles.”
When asked about the seltzer market size in India Amar comments: “Right now, the seltzer market share is close to zero. There are only two brands making seltzers in India: Mumbai-based Speakeasy and Bro Seltzer, which also happens to be one of the biggest importers of alcohol in India. Bro Seltzer is producing the drink in Goa and supplying it in Karnataka, Delhi and Goa.
While there are only two players in this segment, we predict that the market will soon be joined by many players – big and small.”
Amar, who is currently offering consultancy in seltzer brewing, has recently tapped some seltzers and is visibly excited with the results. “The fun part about seltzer-making is that it has a purely flavourless taste and you can add whatever flavours you want in it. It’s like a blank canvas, and there is no limit to experimenting with ingredients.
We got our recent recipe contracts approved and so far the feedback has been great. Our clients are very kicked about this and can’t wait to foray into this untapped segment soon.”
For the Indian beer consumer, picking up a pack of seltzers may not necessarily be top of mind before heading to a social gathering. But it’s only a matter of time before these clear, flavoured, sparkling water-based low-calorie drinks become popular with the young millennial population who is increasingly looking for more low-alcohol options.
US-based market research firm, Grand View Research expects hard seltzers with 1.0% to 4.9% ABV content to register the fastest growth as these products will attract the burgeoning segment of today’s health-conscious consumers and drinkers.
According to the firm, the hard seltzer category is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.2% from 2020 to 2027.
Analysts predict that markets including the US, Australia and Canada will be key to the sector’s growth with the Asia Pacific region registering the fastest growth, at a CAGR of 17% between 2020 and 2027.
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From the right real estate to sourcing the right equipment, floor plan design to brewery layout, running coolant systems to navigating legalities – Brewer World’s turnkey solutions from start to finish, offer facilitation of joint ventures, technical collaborations and partnerships in one of the fastest-growing beer markets of the world! Exclusively tailored for the Indian beer market and headed by our Head of Technical and Consultancy – and India’s first craft brewer, Amar Shrivastava, your brewery/microbrewery project will always be in good hands.
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