The white-hot hard seltzer category is getting another new addition.
Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer is heading to store shelves in January 2021, marketing itself as “the first national USDA-certified organic hard seltzer.”
Part of the Anheuser-Busch /zigman2/quotes/209225053/composite BUD -1.06% portfolio, Michelob Ultra’s seltzer is 80 calories and has no carbs or sugar.
Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer will first be available in spicy pineapple, peach pear, and cucumber lime, with additional options to come later in 2021.
This latest brand adds to the Anheuser-Busch lineup of hard seltzers that includes Bon & Viv, Natty Light Seltzer and Bud Light Seltzer.
The hard seltzer category is being flooded with new entrants. Just this week, Coca-Cola Co. /zigman2/quotes/209159848/composite KO -0.49% and Molson Coors Beverage Co. /zigman2/quotes/205165133/composite TAP +2.21% announced a partnership that will bring Topo Chico Hard Seltzer to the U.S.
Prior to that, Molson Coors launched its own hard seltzers , Vizzy and Coors Seltzer.
Truly hard seltzer is part of the Boston Beer Co. /zigman2/quotes/205338227/composite SAM +0.57% portfolio.
And Constellation Brands Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207737284/composite STZ +0.11% , which reported second-quarter earnings that beat estimates on Thursday, made the biggest single-brand investment in the company’s history, $40 million, in Corona brand hard seltzer. It launched in March.
“Despite launching this new brand in the midst of a pandemic, which presented us with and prevented us from engaging in a number of the activities conducive to introducing a new brand, Corona hard seltzer has become one of the most successful new product launches in our company’s history,” said Bill Newlands, chief executive of Constellation Brands, on the earnings call, according to FactSet.
White Claw, perhaps the biggest name in hard seltzer, is privately held and, according to its website, has “no plans to go public anytime soon.”
According to Nielsen data from January 2020 for the 52 weeks prior, U.S. off-premise sales of hard seltzer were $1.44 billion, up 208.4% from the previous year. Sales soared 168.9% the year before.
“Off-premise sales” include grocery stores, liquor stores and other retailers that sell alcohol to be consumed elsewhere.
Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A. shares have tumbled 34.7% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.33% has gained 4.6% for the period.