Bottled water is taking over the soda industry – now it's coming for beer (BUD)

Kate Taylor
Henry's Hard Sparkling

Henry's Hard Sparkling

As bottled water sales skyrocket, the alcoholic beverage industry is taking notice. 

Bottled water sales have more than doubled in the US in the last 15 years, with Americans buying 11.7 billion gallons of the beverage in 2015. Seltzer sales are growing even faster, growing 42% over the past five years, according to the research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp. 

Now, some of the biggest names in beer and spirits are trying to get in on the trend. 

On Monday, Henry's Hard Soda — an alcoholic soda brand owned by MillerCoors — launched a line of spiked sparkling waters, called Henry's Hard Sparkling. 

The new beverage line is just the latest in a recent crop of alcoholic sparkling water and seltzer brands, including SpikedSeltzer, Truly Spiked And Sparkling, and White Claw Hard Seltzer. Last year, Smirnoff decided to invest in the trend, launching Spiked Sparkling Seltzer in October 2016. 

smirnoff seltzer

Leanna Garfield/Business Insider

Seltzer and sparkling water have exploded while soda sales have declined due to changing customer preferences, as Americans grow increasingly concerned about sugary beverages' health risks. As a result, companies like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are investing in bottled water, with PepsiCo even buying a Super Bowl ad to debut its new, premium water brand 'LIFEWTR.'

Hard seltzer and sparkling water brands seem to be attempting the same approach, targeting calorie-conscious shoppers and people who aren't won over by the appeal of beer. The beer industry has lost a 10% market share to wine and liquor drinkers in the last decade, with only 40% of young drinkers saying their favorite drink is beer, compared to 70% in 1992-1993. 

"Henry’s Hard Sparkling is perfect for those looking to treat themselves, lightly," Josh Wexelbaum, MillerCoors marketing director for Henry’s Hard Sparkling, said in a statement. "Whether it’s following a group spin-class or during a post-softball game toast with friends, Henry’s Hard Sparkling offers everyone the option for a lighter celebration."

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