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April 23, 2021

The Boston Beer Co’s Q1 sales surge as Truly accelerates – results data

The Boston Beer Co has posted a sharp increase in Q1 sales as significant growth for Truly hard seltzer continued to fuel performance.

The Boston Beer Co has posted a sharp increase in Q1 sales as significant growth for Truly hard seltzer continued to fuel performance.

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Sales in the 13 weeks to 27 March jumped by 65% on the year-prior, Boston Beer said late yesterday. Growth was driven by a 48% rise in depletions – a metric used to measure how quickly stock leaves distributors to retailers – and ongoing increases for Truly.

Q1 figures for the hard seltzer brand – the second-largest by volume and value in the US after White Claw – underline how much Boston Beer has come to depend on the flavoured malt beverage amid long-term declines for Samuel Adams beer. Propelled by the launch of Truly Iced Tea Hard Seltzer in January, the brand outgrew the hard seltzer category almost two-fold, or by 50 percentage points. 

According to Boston Beer, Truly’s market share in the quarter increased by 6.5 percentage points to 28%. The brand owner added that it expects further market share expansion this year from the upcoming launch of Truly Punch Hard Seltzer.

“We will invest heavily in the launch of Truly Punch Hard Seltzer and the Truly brand, evolve our brand communications and further improve our position in the hard seltzer category as more competitors enter,” said CEO Dave Burwick.

Truly’s performance will further cement hard seltzer’s position as the fastest-growing category within beer. Alcoholic flavoured sparkling waters account for about 8% of the total US beer category in the US, according to Nielsen data cited by investment analyst Bernstein. Since Truly was launched in 2016, all the main brewers in the country have released competitors.

In the past two months, Smirnoff owner Diageo has bought two US hard seltzer brands and is investing US$80m to ramp up canning facilities.

Elsewhere in Boston Beer’s results, volumes were up by 62%. Looking ahead, the company did not give a full-year sales target but pledged a depletions and shipments percentage increase between 40% and 50%. 

Click here to read Boston Beer’s official results statement

Heineken’s hard seltzer switch and the rise of ranch water – Click here for a just-drinks focus

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