The UK's Hard Seltzer category attracts new player

The hard seltzer category has attracted another contender in time for the summer season.

Long Shot hard seltzers will hit the UK market on May 1, with three variants: Strawberry & Rhubarb; Raspberry & Blackcurrant; and Grapefruit.

Each drink is a blend of fruit, sparkling water and alcohol with less than 70 calories per bottle and 4% abv. They are packaged in environmentally-friendly cans, priced at £2.75 each.

Founder, Hugo Hodgson, said: “Long Shot was born out of blind optimism. Fed up by the traditional sweet and additive-filled cocktail in a can, we believe drinks should have as few ingredients, and be as natural as possible.

“We didn’t understand that somewhere down the line, the ingredients on the back of a drinks can had turned into a completely different language. Even those simple Gin & Tonics you see have a bunch of confusing things we’d certainly never heard of!

“Frustrated by this, Long Shot was born. We had seen Hard Seltzers popping up in the US, but we felt even those were still too full of artificial flavourings.

“The RTD market had total sales of £472 million in 2018, with over half (£287 million) in the off-trade alone, something that’s expected to grow even further. RTDs have sometimes been associated with first-time drinker, but we’ve been excited to see them transform into the new drink of choice with the 25-40 age group, mostly due to premiumisation and convenience.

“We also wanted to position ourselves towards the 55% of consumers who are worried about their sugar intake, as well as the 70% of Brits looking to live a healthier lifestyle. Whilst alcohol will never be healthy as such, Long Shot will always offer that cleaner, simpler alternative to current RTDs. We struggled to find many RTDs under 100 calories, especially ones that tasted any good – so are very excited to see how our super-tasty 70 calories take on things goes down.”

Hodgson previously worked as a Chartered Surveyor in London for three and a half years. With no drinks background, just “an entrepreneurial spirit and a good idea”, he left his corporate office job, “and the rest has been a Long Shot!”

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