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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

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro.

4 hours ago - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.