Courtesy of Anheuser-Busch InBev
- Natural Light is looking to compete in the rapidly growing hard-seltzer market with its own take on the popular beverage, called Natural Light Seltzer.
- In an attempt to differentiate itself from leading competitors like White Claw, Natural Light Seltzer offers a higher alcohol content, larger cases of 12 and 24 cans, and a cost that will be 20% cheaper on average.
- "This is a first, in many ways, because it is the first established beer brand to bring a seltzer proposition into market," Ricardo Marques, vice president of core and value brands at Anheuser-Busch, told Business Insider.
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Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Natural Light, rolled out Natural Light Seltzer on Monday in two flavors: Catalina Lime Mixer and Aloha Beaches. In an attempt to differentiate from leading hard-seltzer brands like White Claw, Bon & Viv, and Truly, Natural Light Seltzer has a slightly higher alcohol content — at 6% ABV compared to the average 5% — and is available in larger cases of 12 and 24 cans.
The drink will also cost 20% less on average than its competitors, continuing to build upon Natural Light’s reputation as a cheaper beverage option beloved by college-aged drinkers.
"It’s a more affordable option, which is a gap today in the seltzer segment from a product standpoint," Ricardo Marques, vice president of core and value brands at Anheuser-Busch, told Business Insider. "From a brand standpoint, we’re bringing the fun personality of Natural Light. This is a first, in many ways, because it is the first established beer brand to bring a seltzer proposition into market."
The debut of Natural Light Seltzer comes on the heels of Anheuser-Busch’s May launch of Naturdays, a strawberry-lemonade-flavored beer notable for its Instagrammable, brightly colored cans covered with flamingos.
Marques said the drink was strategically rolled out to coincide with the forthcoming college back-to-school period, a time filled with alcohol-laden welcome-week parties and football tailgates. He anticipates the drink will have an edge over competing brands due to its captive audience of young consumers who are already loyal imbibers of Natural Light’s other products.
Natural Light is also very active on social media, where its witty, tongue-in-cheek persona has attracted more than 32,000 followers on Twitter and more than 86,000 followers on Instagram. In its announcement of Natural Light Seltzer on Monday, the brand wrote "That’s right, we made a f—— seltzer."
"Natural Light is one of the most talked about brands in the industry when you look at social mentions," Marques said. "It is at the heart how this brand communicates with its audience. If you look at our Twitter channel for instance, or everything that that we do that is social media-first, we have a very solid base with the young legal drinking consumer."
The two flavors were designed to be twists on the most popular flavors currently dominating the market, according to Marques. Catalina Lime is a blend of black cherry and lime, while Aloha Beaches is a mix of mango and peach.
"It seemed like the timing was perfect for a Natural Light Seltzer," Marques said.
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