Courtney Watt Industry News
“Fancy a hard seltzer?” It doesn’t exactly role off the tongue… but what about if I offered you a “Bear Back?” You’d be intrigued, wouldn’t you?
That’s the goal of young drinks entrepreneur, Dougal Forsyth and his new hard seltzer brand; to get more people drinking from this modern product category and to change perceptions of what this drink can be.
Already a staple across the pond, market leaders such as ‘White Claw’ offer health and diet conscious consumers an alternate to the sugar-laden alcopops of the past. Sounds great right? The only problem is, like with many healthy alternates, they sacrifice flavour, and that’s where Bear Back comes in. Our team have tried and tested the hard-seltzers available widely in UK supermarkets and can all agree, Bear Back is offering something superior where taste is concerned. So, we got in touch with the founder for a chat about what he thinks sets his brand apart and the part this product category will have to play in the drinks sector going forward.
What inspired you to create Bear Back?
I went to America early last year to visit my friend at university, and everyone was drinking hard seltzers. I couldn’t understand why- they didn’t taste good. The concept of the category however, I realised was genius- low calorie RTD’s with the same alcohol content as beer and cider, made from clean, pure and natural ingredients. I thought if someone could make a hard seltzer taste delicious and give consumers a reason to drink other than just being low in calories, then they’re on to a winner.
This realisation became a passion, almost an obsession, and I wanted to create a hard seltzer which tasted better than the rest.
Why do you think Hard Seltzer is having a moment in the UK?
I think the moment is yet to come, but consumers are slowly beginning to trial hard seltzers as they are becoming more accessible, and noise is growing around them. Still though, a huge amount of UK consumers are not aware of what a hard seltzer is.
What is it about Bear Back that sets it apart from other hard seltzer brands?
TASTE! I believe Bear Back has achieved taste perfection, which has been validated by the few thousand consumers who have sampled the first batch of cans. We use a juniper distilled spirit base which provides a citrussy, botanical platform for the natural flavours to blend with. The biggest differentiator is using pure Scottish water which, in my opinion, is the best water in the world.
Where in the market would you like Bear Back to sit?
Social drinking is at the centre of the brand. Crates of Bear Back should be at house parties and bbq’s, and in buckets of ice in clubs, beach bars, and festivals. I’ll be focussing on the student and young professional market.
What is your favourite flavour? Are there any more flavours to come?
A very hard question!! I have a soft spot for Black Cherry, but an ice-cold Rhubarb & Ginger goes down very well. Lime & Mint on a hot day is the most refreshing, but Mango & Passionfruit is also impossible to turn down… they’re all delicious!
In your opinion, what changes will the drinks market see as we emerge from pandemic life?
I think consumers will be more health conscious and want to drink better, cleaner alcohol after lockdown. The ‘Alcopop’ is much less appealing to these consumers, and the opportunity is there for hard seltzer to become the new generation VK.
What do you see for the future of Bear Back?
There is a lot of potential in this category for a brand that understands the market with a product that consumers can enjoy drinking. As more people try Bear Back Hard Seltzer, I hope to build a demand which validates UK representation. Ultimately, I see Bear Back being the drink of choice at big events and being available to buy in crates through grocery stores.
Fancy giving this exciting and innovative new drink a try? You can find out more and purchase Bear Back at www.bearbackseltzer.com