[Consumer Study] Who drinks hard seltzers and why?

Hard seltzers, basically alcoholic carbonated water with a fruity taste, have been around for a number of years now so we wanted to find out what people like or dislike about them.

We captured feedback from people in the United States in this study.

Sometimes you don't want that heavy alcohol feeling and I think hard seltzers are a good way to imbibe and enjoy time with friends, but not drink very heavily.

The methodology in our hard seltzers study

The entire study of 100 respondents was conducted through Voxpopme’s Influence market research online community (MROC) of on-demand community members and was completed in under 11 hours.

In the platform, we combined quantitative and qualitative questions in the study and the results were neatly packaged for me in one dashboard.

hard seltzers

hard seltzers insights

On the quantitative side, we asked:

  • Do you drink alcohol??
    • Yes
    • No

This question was also used as a screener with only yes answers moving forward to the next question.

  • How many times per month do you consume alcoholic drinks?
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5+
  • Do you drink hard seltzers?
    • Yes
    • No

On the qualitative side, we asked:

  • What do you think about hard seltzers?
    • Why do you like or dislike hard seltzers? Have you switched from your traditional drink to a hard seltzer and why?
  • Has working from home changed or influenced your drinking habits?
    • How has working from home changed or influenced your drinking habits?

Questions were broken up to give respondents the time to respond to each fully before being asked the next one.

Read next: Not sure what to ask? Check out Voxpopme’s tried and tested open-ended questions for video research.

The results

Here’s a quick highlight reel of responses:

The quant results

In the study, 83 percent of respondents said they drink hard seltzers. In others words, the majority of people who drink alcohol also drink hard seltzers.

the majority of people who drink alcohol also drink hard seltzers

About half of all respondents said they drink alcohol fives times or more per month. Four or three times per month was true for 20 percent each of respondents.

How often per month do you drink alcohol


The qual results

For the qual questions, respondents recorded a quick video message – selfie-style, directly from their phones.

In all, the automatic sentiment analysis showed that 37 percent of all statements were on the positive side, with 34 percent being negative and 28 percent being neutral.

hard seltzers consumer sentiment

Unlike the quant questions, this sentiment analysis is pulled from what respondents actually said in their video responses.

The automatic theme explorer and Word Cloud gave me an idea of what some of the most noted topics were.

hard seltzers consumer themes

hard seltzers word cloud

The analysis of what consumers say about hard seltzers

I like to review the theme explorer first to get an idea of what trends I’m seeing. The Word Cloud is my next step. Then I like to skim through the automatic transcripts and each response. Here’s a sampling of responses.

The taste

Robert, 42, of Waukon, said he likes that hard seltzer isn’t as heavy as beer and that he likes the variety of flavors that it comes in.

“I guess think it’s kind of a nice alternative if you want something alcoholic,” he said. “But you don’t want them to weigh you down like beer.”

Sammy, 22, of Rochester, likes to drink hard seltzers at get-togethers.

“I like hard seltzers because they are very smooth and simple,” she said. “They have just a light little bit of fruit in it. I really liked the Truly ones.”

_I like hard seltzers. It's a nice change from drinking hard liquor or just beer. They're refreshing. I liked the carbonation in them. (1)

The effect

Gabrielle, 23, of Mounds View, said she likes White Claw and drinks it because of the lower amount of calories.

“I definitely have had more hard seltzer since they’ve come out and become more popular,” she said. “But I still drink hard liquor and wine too.”

I have a drink many times a week, but with the hard seltzer, it's a little lighter, so it's not quite as filling if it's closer to bed.

“I like hard seltzers because it’s like an alcoholic beverage or a soda that isn’t too harsh or doesn’t affect you as harshly as hard alcohol does,” said Kelly, 24, of Los Angeles.

Not their cup of tea

Or bottle of choice, rather. Levi, 29, of Madison, said he is more of a beer or hard liquor kind of guy.

“None of them were very good in my opinion,” he said about the hard seltzers he tried. “Like, they kind of remind me of boo-boo drinks.”

I do not like hard seltzers. I think hard seltzers taste too much like water.

Carlos, 43, of Los Angeles, tried hard seltzer a couple of times and even different brands.

“Those hard seltzers just don’t taste good for me,” he said. “I wouldn’t buy them for myself.”

Where to next?

Certainly. alcohol consumption can and has changed – especially as more people moved to work at home. Some started drinking more, some said they started drinking less and some tried hard seltzers.

But what does the future hold? What are consumers expecting out of hard seltzers moving forward? That could be one of the questions asked in the next consumer study.

Louanne, 54, of Belchertown, said that it certainly seems like everyone is now making a hard seltzer. That could make another good follow-up to consider: With the increasingly crowded market, how can your hard seltzer stand out and evolve?

Read next: How you can use video surveys for your next project!



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