Do the Dew, only harder

Mountain Dew, a soda brand long associated with gaming and entertainment culture thanks to its Game Fuel and Kickstart brands, is seeking to capitalize on the younger demographic with a new line of alcoholic beverages called Hard Mountain Dew. The drinks will come in assorted flavors but have zero caffeine or sugar alongside 5% alcohol. This puts Hard Mountain Dew in close territory to the booming hard seltzer market, which has ballooned to $4 billion in revenues during 2020, fueled by pandemic drinkers buying cases at their local grocery stores.

Some in the industry believe that the market can double in the next four years, which would give Hard Mountain Dew a good chance at success as the pie expands beyond the likes of Truly and White Claw. Leading beer companies such as Coors, Anheuser-Busch, and Michelob have all been aiming to secure a piece of this growing hard seltzer market, and many position themselves as “healthy” alcoholic beverages with low or no sugar and far fewer calories than traditional beer.

According to Nick Zeto, the owner of Boston Beer Garden in Naples, Florida, hard seltzers are gaining momentum because they’ve managed to appeal to a wide spectrum of drinkers. “I’ve got just as many men as women drinking it. And it started with the Millennials, but now I have people in their 40s, 50s and 60s ordering it,” he told The New York Times.

As Adweek pointed out, it’s fitting that Mountain Dew is getting into the alcohol business, as its brand was actually derived from an Appalachian term for moonshine. Moreover, Interpret’s New Media Measure® reveals that Mountain Dew drinkers (including Diet and the abovementioned Kickstart and Game Fuel) are far more likely to have purchased beer or liquor in the past seven days than the general population. In fact, beer is especially popular with Mountain Dew drinkers, as half have purchased beer in the past week compared to a third of the US population.