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US hard seltzer sales to jump by 270% in 2020 – analyst

As the leading companies in the category race to release new brands and build production facilities, Cowen & Co today estimated sales for 2020 will hit US$4.3bn. The total would be a 270% increase on the $1.6bn that hard seltzer generated last year.

In 2018, hard seltzer sales were just $400,000.

Citing Nielsen data, Cowen said its 2020 estimate is based on accelerating year-on-year growth for US hard seltzer that by the end of last year saw the category account for almost 5% of total beer/malt sales. The analyst also said hard seltzer is becoming increasingly immune to seasonality, with sales in the category dropping off at a lesser rate outside of the summer.

“The early trends in hard seltzer suggested the emerging subcategory would be highly seasonal,” Cowen said in a note to clients this week. “However, in subsequent years, the post-summer lull has been shallower, and the duration of monthly declines have become shorter.”

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