Natty Light just released a hard seltzer and the 'Chads' of Instagram will never be the same
There's nothing like cracking open a cold one on a lazy summer day, but this summer, beer has taken the backseat as most drinkers' beverage of choice.
Summer 2019 might has well be called the Summer of Seltzer with well-established spirits companies making a splash onto the scene with their own variations of the easily-drinkable cans, from Smirnoff to Svedka.
Hard seltzer sales grew a whopping 169 percent (about $487.8 million) year over year in 2018, according to data from Nielsen, and they don't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Seltzer-only brands have learned to capitalize on their target demographic --usually young, middle-class, health-conscious drinkers which Instagram culture has decidedly labeled 'Chads.'
It's crucial for brands hoping to capitalize on this 'bro' lifestyle associated with the hard seltzer phenomenon to make strong presences on social media and creating their own a voice around that.
Take White Claw for example, a hard seltzer company that's seen a 193 percent growth in sales over the past year alone.
Presumably, this growth is largely in part to the company's primary role in the manifestation of the viral 'Chad' and 'Hot Girl Summer' cultures that have exploded on Instagram this summer.
The consumer-created slogan 'Ain't no laws when you're drinkin' claws' has practically become a daily utterance for beach-bound 'bros' everywhere, whether it be in an ironic matter or not.
But when a brand has already captured a loyal consumer base that matches that of the ideal hard seltzer drinker due to products that mirror the needs of said 'bros' everywhere, making a splash (pun-intended) in the hard seltzer market would seem to only require, well, actually making a hard seltzer.
And for Natural Light, that concept seemed to be clearer than the beverage itself:
"Natural Light is most popular amongst the young, 21+ demographic and that’s the group we see as the largest opportunity for Natural Light Seltzer. These consumers are already in the seltzer category, but we’re going to bring a more flavor-forward, fun option at a price that better fits their lifestyle. Essentially, we’re bringing everything they already love about Natty to a space where that’s very much needed."
Dubbed Natural Light Seltzer, the new beverage from the beer brand comes in two flavors, Aloha Beaches (mango-centric) and Catalina Lime Mixer (black cherry and lime), both at 6 percent ABV.
From the tongue-in-cheek names of the two flavors alone, it's clear that Natty knows who it's catering to -- staying relevant and relatable to the 'Hot Girls' and 'Brads and Chads' of the drinking world is crucial in succeeding in what has become the summer of the Hard Seltzer Revolution:
"It’s definitely something we plan to capitalize on and we’re so excited because we already have such a strong base to build on as we enter the space. This isn’t just ANY brand crashing the seltzer category – It’s Natty Light. Natty is already ultra-relevant with this consumer demographic, so this launch is just another example of how we’re meeting our core following where they’re already at. When it comes to hitting the nail on the head with the young adult demo, Natty is best in class."
Part of this means acknowledging (and subsequently defeating) your competition, and it seems to be pretty clear that Natty Light knows whose crown its coming for:
Natty Light has proven this year that they can go beyond their ever-familiar presence in the form of crushed beer cans at college parties and infiltrate the social-media scene through new product launches and campaigns.
Take Naturdays, the brand's new Strawberry Lemonade-flavored beer. The pink and yellow can, adorned with drawings of flamingos and and an inviting font, was practically made for social posting and Instagram boomerangs.
It's currently the #1 beer innovation in 2019 by volume and share.
Another social win? This April, the brand's social media sweepstakes on Masters Sunday (consumers hoping to win free beer for a year for every birdie scored on Masters Sunday had to tweet #BirdieLight #Sweepstakes) became a top-trending Twitter hashtag on one of the biggest sports day of the year.
It's clear that Natty has the secret sauce when it comes to pleasing the consumers they've already attained, but the launch of its seltzer is also an attempt for the company to expand their consumer base beyond their loyal 'bros':
"Natural Light Seltzer is going to be a complement to our existing family of Natural Light brands, including classic Natural Light beer and of course, the recently launched Naturdays Strawberry-Lemonade flavored beer. This provides our existing consumers with more options for a wide variety of occasions, whether that’s a house party at night or a day at the beach. In addition to that, it also attracts new consumers into the fold who may not have previously considered Natural Light, but are open to trying new flavor options like a tropical seltzer and strawberry-lemonade flavored beer."
And though many may argue that the hard seltzer craze is simply a passing trend in the beverage world, Natural Light knows this is not the case -- and it appears they'll be sticking around in the seltzer world for a while:
"We’ve been keeping an eye on the segment for a while, and once we felt that Naturdays was in a good spot we turned our attention to seltzer ... We have already seen that seltzer is not a fad – it’s here to stay, so much like Naturdays, Natural Light Seltzer is a long-term addition to the portfolio as we continue to focus on meeting the diversifying needs of our fans.:
Both flavors of Natural Light Seltzer are now available nationwide in 12 packs, 24 packs, and a 25 oz. single serve can.
If you need us, we'll be here anxiously awaiting the weekend -- Naturdays are for the 'Chads', after all.