A Bud Light Seltzer Might Be Coming For White Claw's Crown
It's no secret who is sitting atop the hard seltzer game of king of the hill. White Claw is dominating the competition in the booming hard seltzer market. (It's so in demand there's a pseudo-shortage.) It's not surprising that the biggest beer brands are quickly making plays to unseat the brand rumored to make laws disappear.
Anheuser-Busch (AB InBev) is among those looking for a larger slice of the pie as sales of key brands like Bud Light and Budweiser continue to decline. The company bought one of the early players in seltzer, Spiked Seltzer, and rebranded it Bon & Viv. (Bon & Viv became the first-ever official hard seltzer of the NFL in August.) AB also recently announced Natural Light's entry into the hard seltzer universe. But, according to a report from Beer Business Daily, that's not their final attempt at becoming the king of seltzer. Bud Light Seltzer is in the works.
The report cites unnamed sources from AB InBev's distributor meeting last week. Among the drinks reportedly in development are Bud Light Seltzer, Bud Light Lemonade, and Bud Light Crisp, which will be a lower-calorie version of Bud Light aiming at Miller Lite and other popular low-calorie beer options. There's also a nitrogenized beer called Bud Nitro and a seltzer line in the works for Stella Artois.
Representatives from Bud Light have not responded to a request for comment, but a spokesperson told Ad Age the company has "the industry's leading portfolio because we are never satisfied. We regularly share conceptual ideas with our wholesaler partners as we develop new ways to meet consumer needs. Details on new product launches will be shared in due course." That's no confirmation that all the reported new products will hit shelves, but it's certainly not a denial as AB brands continue to lag behind White Claw and Truly in the hard seltzer arms race.
It's a crowded shelf at the store with hard seltzers from PBR, White Claw, Truly, Four Loko, Henry's, Wild Basin, and so many others. But it's going to keep getting more crowded for the time being, even if White Claw season seems like it's coming to a close with the arrival of fall.