Can Yuengling’s New 95-Calorie Beer Compete With Hard Seltzer?

Yuengling Flight
Courtesy of Yuengling

Family-owned and operated brewery D. G. Yuengling and Son, Inc. released a new light beer this week, aimed at taking shares from the growing hard seltzer and shrinking light beer markets. For its debut, Flight by Yuengling is heavy on numbers: The beer is only 95 calories and boasts this fact (as well as a minimal 2.6 grams of carbs) prominently on its label; it’s the second-largest text after the brand name itself.

It’s an important inclusion, at a time when hard seltzer has been nipping at the heels of light beer aggressively enough to draw blood. While hard seltzer is still less than 3 percent of the total beer market, major brewers have jumped in quickly, especially as trends have shown that brands like White Claw are not, in fact, summer seasonal drinks.

Yuengling, which was founded in 1829, calls Flight “a new upscale light beer designed to elevate the drinking experience for consumers who want more from their beer,” but the new brew is actually designed to intentionally offer consumers less. For context, Flight clocks in one calorie below Miller Lite and five below a 12-oz. can of White Claw.

A press release from Yuengling this week noted changes to the profile of the average drinker. “Recognizing an opportunity in the light beer category,” the release explained, “we have been working to deliver an upscale refreshment brand that fits within the active lifestyles of today’s consumers.”

Active lifestyle is a point America’s oldest brewery is really hammering home in 2020. In addition to launching Flight, the brewery has played up celebrity brand ambassadors including one of Yuengling’s “newest brand ambassadors Rose Lavelle, American professional soccer star.”

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