Wine giant Barefoot launches hard seltzer range

California wine giant Barefoot has entered the hard seltzer game with a range of four white wine-based seltzers that are set to go on sale in the US next month.

According to Forbes, the launch is Barefoot’s biggest investment in a new product in its 55-year history. “We feel very comfortable that wine seltzer, as an opportunity to try wines in a new way, can bring new friends to wine,” said Anna Bell, Barefoot’s vice president of marketing.

The range includes four variants made with sparkling water, white wine and natural fruit flavours: peach and nectarine; cherry and cranberry; pineapple and passion fruit; and strawberry and guava.

Each 8.5-ounce can contains 70 calories, two grams of sugar, and 4% ABV. A single can will cost $US 1.99, while four packs will be sold for US$7.99, and 12-packs $19.99.

The range’s alcohol and sugar levels are on par with some of its biggest competitors in the hard seltzer sector, including market leader White Claw.

Barefoot’s pricing is slightly higher than White Claw, which costs US$14 for a 12-pack. The range is due to go on sale at retailers across the US in February.

The move by Barefoot is interesting. The company already sells a range of canned wine-based spritzers, including a Pinot Grigio spritzer, pink Moscato spritzer, sangria spritzer and a summer red spritzer.

Despite the similarity of product, Barefoot clearly wants in on the hard seltzer action, which is said to be stealing market share from wine, leading to a dip in wine sales in the US last year for the first time in 25 years.

The hard seltzer trend is booming in the US, and is set to take off in the UK this year with the arrival of some of the bigger brands like White Claw and Truly. The category is predicted to be worth US$2.5 billion in the US by 2021.

Indicating how seriously the sector is being taken, big name brewers like Corona and Budweiser have started releasing their own versions, the latter with a Bud Light hard seltzer range including flavours like black cherry and lemon lime.

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