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Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Last year was a "breakthrough year" for hard seltzers like White Claw and Truly, per research from Bank of America, and sales should bubble over in 2020 — judging from beverage chatter on Insta.

Why it matters: Boozy soft drinks are taking market share from traditional beer, fueled by health and wellness trends (low-cal, low-carb) and the fact that they fall somewhere between wine, spirits and beer, the bank says.

Driving the news: The volume of conversations on Instagram about hard seltzer in January was six times greater than last January — and 35% higher than in June, when warm weather makes us thirstier, according to BofA's "hard seltzer sentiment tracker."

  • BofA calls it "a beverage for all seasons" and notes that "activities like 'snowboarding' and 'electronic music' are increasing their share of hard seltzer conversations at a faster rate than health and wellness-related terms."
  • Brand loyalty is strongest at White Claw and Bon & Viv, but White Claw and Truly held 80% market share at year-end.

Beverage giants are pouring into the market: Bud Light Seltzer, which was advertised during the Super Bowl, made it into 14.3% of January Insta mentions.

  • Constellation Brands, AB InBev and Molson Coors are expected to introduce hard seltzers this year and "spend collectively ~$100 million in support," BofA Research says.

The bottom line: Beer has seen sales drop as spiked seltzers have seen them rise, and Instagram posts are a leading indicator of the consumption.

Go deeper: Big Beer faces a risky future

Go deeper

Updated 33 mins ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker
1 hour ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.