The Fourth of July holiday is around the corner and that has consumers stocking up on their favorite foods and beverages. When prognosticating about which beverages consumers will reach for this holiday, New York-based Nielsen analyzed the performance of numerous beverage alcohol categories and segments.

For instance, consumers spent nearly $800 Million on beer last July 4th. Although this is a huge total, it represents a decline of 1.6 percent from the same week a year before, according to Nielsen data for the week ending July 7, 2018. Domestic Premium beer sold -5.9 percent fewer dollars than the year before, but the July 4 week still accounted for 2.9 percent of dollar sales for the year, making it the largest contributing week of the year, Nielsen noted. Craft beer also struggled last year during the holiday week with dollars sales down 2.5 percent compared with the previous year, it added.

Nielsen notes that Fourth of July holiday seems to be shifting beyond beer.

FMBs/coolers saw dollar sales grow 12.1 percent compared with the year. Additionally, for the segment, the one week of July 4 contributed more than 4 percent of FMB/Cooler dollar sales for the year, Nielsen reports.

This performance can be attributed to the success of hard seltzers. Hard Seltzers brought sizeable growth to the FMB/Cooler category during the week of July 4th, Nielsen states. Hard Seltzer dollar sales were $16.1 million an increase of 150 percent (300 percent for variety hard seltzer packs); however, if you were to remove hard seltzers from FMB/Coolers, dollar sales for the week of July 4, the category would show a 9.5 percent decline, according to Nielsen.

“Hard seltzer is poised to win the Fourth of July once again this year,” said Caitlyn Battaglia, manager of beverage alcohol for Nielsen, in a statement. “Unlike other beer categories in recent years, hard seltzer has found great success in variety packs and the Fourth of July was no exception to this trend. Consumers are increasingly being lured by choices, and as we continue to see new innovative flavors entering the market, variety packs are moving the needle to give consumers access to the convenience of hard seltzers as well as multiple flavor offerings.” 

Hard ciders performed well in the week leading up to Fourth of July last year. According to Nielsen, hard cider dollar sales were $9,384,000, up 8.5 percent for the week of July 4th, driven largely by the influx of rosé cider offerings.

Canned wine dollar sale during the week of July 4 were $2.7 million, growing 56.5 percent in 2018 compared with the previous year, Nielsen reports. Dollar sales during that week alone accounted for nearly 4 percent of 2018’s total canned wine dollar sales, it added.

“Canned wine and the Fourth of July is an easy marriage. The convenient can container makes bringing wine to outdoor events often associated with the July 4 holiday — and summer in general — much easier and more accessible than the traditional glass bottle,” Battaglia said. “The can has also proven to be an excellent vehicle for keeping up with consumer trends. In 2017, we saw a noticeable shift towards pink wine in cans, aligning with the broader rosé trend that has permeated alcohol.

“Canned wine won with the ready-to-drink trend in 2018 as well, with canned wine-based cocktails growing dollar sales more than 70 percent compared to the previous year,” she continued. “As health and wellness trends continue to make a ripple throughout the alcohol industry, this July 4 will likely see growth in these sorts of products within the canned wine space.”