Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type



Moore School of Business

Director of Thesis

Dr. Marc van Essen

First Reader

Dr. Maureen Petkewich

Second Reader

Dr. Maureen Petkewich


This thesis seeks to uncover the potential for the hard seltzer category in the European alcohol market. First, through secondary research, it establishes the conditions of entering the European alcohol market by looking at the challenges of entering markets abroad, the challenges of entering the European market, and the history and current state of alcohol in Europe. Second, this thesis will analyze the history and characteristics of the hard seltzer category. This will include profiles of seven key brands: White Claw, Truly, Bud Light Seltzer, Vizzy, Topo Chico, Mike’s Hard Seltzer, and Pure Piraña. Next, this thesis will analyze primary research consisting of two different surveys, one given to 36 Europeans and one given to 77 Americans, that will exemplify the similarities and differences between drinking cultures in the United States and Europe and how hard seltzers fit into them. It will also demonstrate the current awareness and preference for the hard seltzer category and each of the individual brands. Finally, this thesis will include a case study demonstrating how White Claw performed when presented to college students in Vienna, Austria. In the end, it will become clear through analysis that hard seltzers have a future in Europe, but they will not become the phenomenon that they have been in the United States. Instead, they will become a consistent alternative to beer for those who particularly enjoy their taste. Within the category, White Claw and Topo Chico will lead, with Truly, Bud Light Seltzer, Mike’s Hard Seltzer, and Pure Piraña having the potential for moderate success and Vizzy having no potential for success.

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