ABInbev prepares to extend into UK's alcoholic sparkling water market

ABInbev hopes to secure an early share of the UK’s alcoholic sparkling water market with the launch of a new brand via its ZX Ventures Lab.

Mike’s Hard Sparkling Water, which will hit the UK later this month, is an alcoholic sparkling water with 5% abv and 99 calories per 33cl can.

The producer hopes the UK can follow in the success of the alcoholic sparkling water market in the US, where the drinks have been described as: “the drink of the summer” by the New York Times.  The launch is also expected to appeal to RTD fans, with the UK’s RTD category currently seeing stronger growth in the off-trade than beer, wine, cider and spirits.

Mike’s Hard Sparkling Water comes in flavours of lemon, lime, black cherry all with a hint of natural flavour with no added sugar and a “light alcoholic hit”.

The brand will initially be launched in the convenience channel with e-commerce and grocery to follow. The 33cl cans will be priced £1.99 each of £6.50 for a four-pack single flavour and £9 for a variety six-pack.

Ana De La Guardia, general manager at Mike’s, said: “We are so excited to launch Mike’s Hard Sparkling Water here in the UK. We have seen how quickly the alcoholic sparkling water market has grown in the US and we believe now is the time to bring the trend to the UK.

"Brits are leading healthier lives and as such there is a demand for an alcoholic drink with natural flavours that is low sugar, low calorie and low ABV, but retailers aren’t currently equipped to offer these options. It is important for us to provide our customers with products that not only directly respond to consumer needs to drive sales – but most importantly, taste good.”

Kopparberg made an early play for a share of this market with its Aqua Spritz brand Balans, while other smaller players have also introduced new drinks in recent weeks. 

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