Molson Coors Beverage Company is introducing a new hard seltzer to the U.K., as the market for the beverage that has taken the United States by storm continues to grow abroad.
Hitting shelves in March, Three Fold Hard Seltzer is light in flavor, and comes in three fruity varieties: Red Berries, Tropical and Citrus. Each 330 milliliter can contains 4% alcohol by volume and 93 calories.
The beverages are naturally vegan and gluten-free. Three Fold comes in 12-packs of each flavor, as well as a variety six-pack.
“Three Fold has been especially crafted for the legal-age Generation Z audience, with flavor combinations that we know consumers will love,” says Jim Shearer, Molson Coors’ category, insight and innovation director for Molson Coors Europe. “Creating a hard seltzer of our own with mainstream appeal felt like a natural next step given the momentum in this space and the inroads we have already made this year into the ready-to-drink category.”
Three Fold is already available for purchase online and will be released in stores in spring.
Hard seltzer has proven to be phenomenon in the United States, with continued triple-digit growth upending the beer industry in a few short years. The U.K. market, on the other hand, is in its infancy.
U.S. segment leader White Claw landed on U.K. shores last spring, and was met with a slew of competitors, from local craft options to offerings from Swedish cidery Kopperberg and AB-Inbev’s Mike’s Hard Seltzer, as well as Bodega Bay, which is distributed by Molson Coors.
Bodega Bay’s Elderflower, Lemon & Mint and Apple, Ginger & Acai Berry flavors have made it the segment leader, with sales of about £4 million ($5.4 million), according to Nielsen Scantrack data.
Beverage makers see major potential in the U.K., even though the first hard seltzers rolled out just a year ago. The segment recently passed the £10 million ($13.6 million) sales mark, with penetration in more than 3% of British households, or about 1 million consumers, says David Elliott, consumer insights director for Kantar Research’s Worldpanel division. He believes the segment could double or triple by the summer of 2021.
“It does feel like the category has quite a few tailwinds that are likely to help its performance. Its positioning as this low-sugar (and) low-calorie … product will appeal to more health-conscious consumers,” he says.
Major retailers like Morrison’s and Tesco have shown enthusiasm for stocking hard seltzers, which have a repeat purchase rate of more than 25%, Elliott says.
“What is clear from our insight so far, is that while hard seltzers may be a newer phenomenon here in the U.K., we believe it’s one that’s here to stay,” Shearer says.