The Hard Tea Market Is Trending as Brands Launch Products, Consumer Demand Increases

Fact.MR launched a new report on the hard tea market, which says the sector is expected to surpass a market value of US$19 billion with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.25 percent during the forecast period of 2022 to 2032.

Per the new research, the growing inclination towards hard teas is due to the desire for beverages and cocktails with less alcohol content, fruitful flavors and strong aromas.

The report notes that manufacturers of hard teas are experimenting with a variety of flavors and combining tea with vodka, beer and wine, among other ingredients, as demand increases.

Hard tea companies and brands are also focused on understanding and analyzing the taste buds of consumers, which is inspiring them to offer numerous hard tea flavors that suit a wide audience. In addition, manufacturers are offering region-specific hard teas that to suit the taste buds of localized consumers.

Hard Tea Grocery Display
Hard tea grocery store display in Raleigh, N.C. (Photo by: Aaron Kiel / World Tea News)

By flavor, peach flavored hard tea is expected to hold a nearly 50 percent market share of the hard tea category. In terms of alcohol by volume (ABV), two to five percent ABV hard teas are expected to hold more than 45 percent of market share for the category. And the overall hard tea industry in the United States is expected to register a CAGR of seven percent through 2022 to 2032.

“The demand for hard tea is expected to grow, owing to its health benefits and lower alcohol content,” said a Fact.MR analyst. “The organic flavors of hard tea are attracting a wider consumer base of all age groups."

‘An Untapped Need in the Hard Tea Market’

Michael Sargent, senior brand manager for Twelve5 Rebel Hard Coffee & Hard Tea, said, “In 2021, we saw an untapped need in the hard tea market to bring awesome flavor paired with a real tea experience to life, but was lower in calories and sugar than what was currently available for consumers and wasn't a hard seltzer.”

In March, Twelve5 expanded its hard tea product portfolio through a line extension into a convenient 19.2 oz., single can size. This larger format can will complement the brand’s Hard Tea 8-Count Skinny Can Variety Pack that includes Original, Half & Half, Peach and Raspberry Hard Tea options.

“Through our 2021 Hard Tea test market execution, we identified the need to offer our hard tea consumers a larger format can,” said Sargent. “Our offering includes our most popular flavor profiles, while remains the same great tasting, easy to drink Hard Tea that our consumers have come to love in skinny cans, but now available in a 19.2 oz. can size.”

‘The Ever-Growing Tea Trend’

This spring, hard seltzer leader White Claw introduced its latest innovation – White Claw Hard Seltzer Iced Tea – a hard seltzer iced tea made with sustainably sourced brewed tea. The hard seltzer iced tea is crafted using a unique BrewPure process, sustainably sourced brewed tea and fine flavors.

“Our consumers crave more flavor and more variety, and that's just what we're delivering with White Claw Hard Seltzer Iced Tea,” said John Shea, chief marketing officer, White Claw Hard Seltzer, North America. “You combine the leader in hard seltzer with the ever-growing tea trend, and you've got a winner.”

‘A Different Type of Spirits-Based Hard Seltzer’

SVEDKA Vodka, a mainstream vodka brand, launched their latest extension – SVEDKA Tropics Tea Spritz – a new spirits-based hard seltzer.

SVEDKA Tropics combines SVEDKA Vodka with real tea, sparkling water and natural tropical fruit flavors, which all come together in an easy-to-enjoy hard seltzer. The beverages are available in three flavors – Pineapple Guava, Raspberry Kiwi and Orange Mango.

“With our new Vodka Tea Spritz, SVEDKA Tropics is filling the consumer need for a different type of spirits-based hard seltzer," said Billy Lagor, senior vice president, wine and spirits division, Constellation Brands, which includes SVEDKA Vodka in its portfolio. “With real ingredients and a lower ABV, SVEDKA Tropics provides a depth of flavor and a unique taste experience that sets it apart from other hard seltzers. The RTD canned category continues to grow at a rapid pace, and we believe SVEDKA Tropics offers a fantastic option for any occasion.”

Tapping Into a Growing Demand for a Better-for-You Alcoholic Beverage

Lagunitas Brewing Company took its craft brewing know-how into the world of tea with the launch of Disorderly TeaHouse.

Disorderly TeaHouse is a premium, spiked and sparkling tea. It’s a freshly brewed and just slightly sweet hard tea that features natural fruit flavors like yuzu lemon, raspberry and blackberry.

“Lagunitas saw an opportunity to create our first hard tea that taps into people's growing demand for a better-for-you alcoholic beverage – coming in at just 100 calories with zero grams of sugar and gluten-free. Nothing artificial,” said Paige Guzman, Lagunitas' chief marketing officer.

Disorderly TeaHouse is the first hard tea to be fresh brewed with premium guayusa tea leaves that are hand-picked by indigenous farmers from Ecuador. Guayusa is described as “ancient energy” and Lagunitas deliberately chose it because of its slightly sweet, smooth and never bitter flavor.

After selecting the finest guayusa tea leaves, Lagunitas brews the tea in-house to give Disorderly TeaHouse its authentic taste. Then, natural fruit flavors are added to provide a crisp finish to Disorderly TeaHouse's two available varieties: Yuzu Lemon Squeeze and Mixed-Up Berries.

Guzman added, “We've seen the hard seltzer and premium malt beverage market become so oversaturated, and wanted to offer up an alternative that spoke to the authenticity of our heritage in the craft brewing process and gives consumers a more premium offering.”

Hard Tea Report - The Lagunitas Brewing Company
(Photo: Courtesy of The Lagunitas Brewing Company)

‘Big on Fruit Tea Flavor’

Tea West, a new hard tea by Chico Fermentation Project in partnership with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., can also be found on retail shelves in select markets across the country. This new beverage offers a softly carbonated hard tea infused with big fruit flavors and just 100 calories, zero sugar, three grams of carbs, and five percent ABV per 12-ounce can.

"We're very excited to offer Tea West just in time for Summer,” said Robin Gregory, communications director at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “It's big on fruit tea flavor, but low on calories. Not too sweet, no sugar. It's light and easy – the perfect drink for a day on the water."

All four flavors of Tea West are available in a 12-pack variety, which includes Lemon the Dream, Just Peachy, Black Rad Berry and Mint to Be Strawberry.

Forming Collaborations to Bring Hard Tea RTD to Market

Portland-based ready-to-drink cocktail makers Straightaway Cocktails and Smith Tea recently joined forces to create new canned cocktails, which launched July 14. They debuted a Black Tea Vodka Soda and a White Tea Vodka Soda.

The White Tea Vodka Soda pairs Smith Tea’s delicate Bai Mu Dan tea with yuzu, pear and clary sage, giving the cocktail a delicate floral-honeyed note. The Black Tea Vodka Soda blends their smoky Keemum tea with a touch of lemon and currant for an easy-going aromatic drink with subtle spice. They're both certified organic with just 80 calories and zero grams of sugar.

Straightaway co-founder Cy Cain had long admired Steven Smith, the late founder of Smith Tea, since their initial meeting in the late ‘90s. Cain often took his teams to the TAZO production facility in Portland for tea cuppings, which is where he connected with Smith over their shared love of things made right. Smith’s playful point of view on a traditionally serious product inspired some of the approach to Straightaway Cocktails, so Cain was thrilled to finally partner with the Smith Tea team.

‘Something That Actually Uses Real, Beneficial Ingredients’

Masq Hard Tea, which focuses on wellness beverages, offers their all-natural hard tea made with premium organic ingredients. The company launched in 2021 and said it found early success as consumers continue to look at more health-conscious options in their alcohol beverages. The company markets to active lifestyle consumers.

Masq Co-Founder Brad Parkes noted, “When Masq was created, we wanted a better way to drink. There are so many 'less bad' items on the shelf – zero carbs, no sugar, etc., but most of it is flavored water, alcohol and artificial sweeteners. We wanted something that actually uses real, beneficial ingredients.”

Hard Tea Trending - Masq Hard Tea
(Photo: Courtesy of Masq Hard Tea)

A New Line of Cannabis-Infused Iced Tea Beverages

Entourage Health Corp., a Canadian producer and distributor of award-winning cannabis products, and The Boston Beer Company (BBC), the maker of iconic, high-quality brands such as Samuel Adams, Truly Hard Seltzer and Twisted Tea, announced the Canadian debut of TeaPot, a new line of cannabis-infused iced tea beverages.

Developed and formulated alongside Boston Beer’s cannabis subsidiary BBCCC Inc. and Peak Processing Solutions, TeaPot is The Boston Beer Company’s first infused beverage offering, available in select Canadian provinces.

TeaPot blends real tea with unique cannabis cultivars to give each TeaPot blend a pairing that is cleverly named to correlate with specific times of the day. The brand’s first release is Good Day Iced Tea, made with real-lemon black tea and infused with Pedro's Sweet Sativa, a distinguished cultivar grown and sold exclusively by Entourage under its Color Cannabis retail brand. Each 12-ounce can of TeaPot contains 5mg of THC and is crafted to minimize any cannabis taste or aroma. TeaPot will introduce additional varietals in the coming months.

“We congratulate our partners at The Boston Beer Company on the exciting launch of TeaPot - a unique iced tea crafted with natural flavors and infused with our most distinguished cultivars that we expect will land as the best cannabis-infused beverages in Canada,” said George Scorsis, CEO and executive chairman at Entourage. “…TeaPot will be an instant hit this summer as it debuts in select [Canadian] provinces starting in July, with eventual nationwide distribution expected throughout the year.”

Hard Tea - Tea Pot RTD
(Photo: Courtesy of Entourage Health Corp. and The Boston Beer Company)

Craft Beer and Kombucha: When Worlds Collide

Each quarter, Karl Strauss Brewing Company debuts its latest release in its highly anticipated Collaboration Series. For this recent round, the company teamed up with fellow San Diego locals Boochcraft Organic Hard Kombucha to give both craft beer and Hard Kombucha fans something to love. Inspired by the infusion process frequently utilized in crafting Hard Kombucha, When Worlds Collide Grapefruit Hibiscus IPA made its debut in June.

With 30+ years of craft beer brewing expertise under their belts, the Karl Strauss team was eager to collaborate with the pros at Boochcraft and explore a world familiar yet wholly new: tea and botanicals.

Paul Segura, Brewmaster, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, said,  “We have true masters of the craft on our brewing team, but one thing we’d never experimented with was infusing a beer with tea and botanicals. The Boochcraft team are absolute masters at this process, so our crew was excited to learn from them. We found that combining the right botanicals enhanced the hop characteristics of this IPA in a unique way, resulting in this beautiful hybrid-like beer that falls somewhere between a Hard Kombucha and a San Diego-style IPA.”

Hard Tea - Karl Strauss Brewing Company - When Worlds Collide
(Photo: Courtesy of Karl Strauss Brewing Company)

Competitive Landscape

Overall, according to Fact.MR, some of the key players in the global hard tea market are The Boston Beer Company, Pabst, Twisted Tea, Anheuser-Busch Companies LLC (Blue Point Brewing), Old Brew’s Easy Tea, Cisco Brewers , White Claw Hard Seltzer and Nude Beverages, among others.

To learn more about the recent hard tea market report from fact.MR, visit

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