Matthew Neville

Hard seltzer brand raises over £1m as it looks to take UK market share

Bodega Bay, a London based hard seltzer brand, has announced that it has raised £1,121,850 on its Crowdcube campaign. This is well over the £400k it targeted via the crowdfunding campaign.

The brand was Europe’s first hard seltzer and is now well established as the premium hard seltzer on the market. This round will be used to drive growth in the UK and export markets, as hard seltzers are finding a “significant rise in popularity”, the UK market has grown from £60k in sales in 2019 to £32m by the end of 2021.

Hard seltzers are a new category of alcoholic drink that is made from sparkling water, alcohol and natural flavourings. They tap into the “well-established” consumer trend for healthier options and a desire for more natural ingredients. There are a few brands on the market, with Bodega Bay carving the way for a premium offering for consumers.

Bodega Bay was founded in 2019 by drinks industry veteran of 17 years, Charlie Markland, and is joined on the management team by Bertrand Nicoli, who was part of the early team at Mindful Chef before its 2020 exit to Nestle.

In three years, Bodega Bay has secured over 400 listings in pubs and bars including the likes of Young’s, City Pub Co, Boxpark, Mitchells & Butlers and Drake & Morgan, as well as over 1,200 stockists in the off trade and wholesale market including Morrison’s, Ocado, Go Puff, Zapp and more.

This funding will be used to help Bodega Bay continue this growth within the UK and further afield. The brand has already successfully launched in the USA, Spain, Norway, Switzerland and Brazil and has active conversations across other markets.

Further to this, management aims to launch new flavours to add to the existing Cherry with Mango and Goji Berry, Apple with Ginger and Acai Berry and Elderflower with Lemon and Mint, alongside expanding their multipack offering in the next year.

Founder and CEO Charlie Markland commented: “Our belief that the time for Hard Seltzers in the UK is NOW has been validated by the enthusiasm of the crowd. We humbly accept their confidence in Bodega Bay and thank them for their faith that we can achieve our ambitious growth plans which are centred on cementing our position as the UK’s Premium Hard Seltzer.”

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