Bluebird Hardwater Finds Space in a Saturated Market

With the growing popularity of “clean” and “better-for-you” beverages, more studies are seeing consumers opting for drinks that showcase these claims. 

Kline’s Clean Label in Food & Beverages: Perception vs. Reality study found that approximately half (48%) of the consumers surveyed purchase products that are labeled “clean” or “natural.” Out of those who state that buying clean or natural foods is important to them, more than half believe that such products have positive implications for their health, the study states. 

Another survey commissioned by specialty PR agency Ingredient Communications found that as many as 73% of consumers are happy to pay a higher retail price for a food or drink product made with clean ingredients.

Due to all of this newfound demand for better-for-you drinks, many beverage producers have been debuting their own “clean” products. One brand in particular, Bluebird Hardwater, was created out of a desire to be able to drink alcohol without feeling awful afterwards. 

Delivering a Clean Drinking Experience

Will Blum, Bluebird Hardwater founder.

Bluebird Hardwater is a blend of premium spirits with purified water. Coming in at only 4% ABV, it allows consumers to drink a few cans without overdoing it. Featured flavors include Vodka + Water, Tequila + Water and Whiskey + Water. 


Bluebird’s Gen Z founder, Will Blum, drew inspiration from his personal experiences while creating Hardwater. His motivation stemmed from the need for a drink that could fuel his activities without leaving him feeling sluggish or hungover. 

“There was a huge lack of options in the canned alcohol market,” says Blum. “I grew up very active and all of my sports took place early in the morning, like surfing and skiing, and I didn’t want to miss my mornings or feel bad the next day.”

Even just one regular beer would leave Blum feeling bloated and not great after, and he had friends who felt the exact same way. 

“While talking one night with my friends, I thought ‘Why not put a little bit of alcohol in this water?’ You can stay hydrated, there’s only two ingredients, no bite at that ABV level, and I thought it was crazy nobody was doing it in the industry,” explains Blum. “So I began filling that void with something more health-conscious and that has clean ingredients.” 

Thus, Bluebird Hardwater was born.

Hardwater Finds a Place in the Alcohol Beverage Market

As with any business trying to get off the ground, Blum says he experienced quite a few roadblocks in the process of creating Bluebird Hardwater. 

“The biggest roadblock was probably the no preservatives aspect, but it was something I didn’t want to budge on,” Blum explains. “I wanted a clean spirit and nobody had made a drink like this before.”

Another big challenge, which Blum still faces to this day, is pitching to grocery store chains. While he doesn’t want Hardwater to be placed next to the hard seltzers, there’s no other existing category in which the beverage can be placed. There’s only wine, beer and hard seltzers. 

To combat this issue, Blum began finding a separate spot for Hardwater that’s near the alcohol section, but far enough away so they can place their own signage to explain what the brand is clearly and effectively. 

“We’re also doing a lot of consumer studies on our packaging to figure out how we can translate and explain to the consumer who and what we are,” explains Blum. “It’s something we’ve spent probably six months on ― just really in-depth consumer studies where we sit and talk with them for an hour about what they would like to see and what would make sense for them to see on the shelves to get our idea across.”

Continued Growth for Bluebird Hardwater

This summer, Blum says they will be launching new tequila and vodka flavors of Hardwater. They will, of course, still be free from preservatives and made with real juice. No matter what the future holds for the brand, Blum wants them to resonate with health-conscious drinkers. 

“The biggest thing with us is that we’re huge with having quality ingredients ― we only use two ingredients and have no preservatives,” notes Blum. “The low ABV also speaks to the health-conscious consumer because they can drink as much or as little as they want. They can socialize better and mitigate how much they’re drinking rather than a high ABV cocktail that also has more calories.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here