21 Jul 2021DisruptorsLunar Hard Seltzer proudly champions Asian-Americans

Lunar Hard Seltzer is introducing Asian flavors to an American audience. Developed by two Asian Americans, the brand is making moves to grow minority representation in a White-dominated brewing industry and provide a drink that authentically reflects Asian culture.

Luana SambellLuana Sambell is a behavioural analyst on the Cultural Intelligence team at Canvas8. With an MSc in consumer behaviour, she’s interested in how pop- and sub-cultures shape people’s preferences, judgements, and decision-making. Outside of work, you can usually find her cycling around London looking for dumplings or natural wine.

Created by Kevin Wong and Sean Ro, Lunar was born out of a dearth of alcoholic beverages that reflected the flavors and ingredients of their upbringing as Asian Americans. Lunar Hard Seltzer offers three varieties of spiked seltzer water including Japanese yuzu, South Korean plum, and Thai lychee, with the natural ingredients sourced directly from different regions in Asia. Lunar has also collaborated with local New York City restaurants to create limited edition seltzers, like pineapple cake for Taiwanese restaurant 886. “For some people, this is going to be very familiar, nostalgic, and authentic,” says Wong. “And for others who aren’t as familiar, this is going to be really new, fresh, and exciting – yet approachable.”

Hard seltzer is having a moment. With a wide variety of flavors and fewer calories than other pre-mixed beverages, it caters to sugar- and alcohol-conscious consumers – 66% of Gen Yers say they choose alcoholic beverages with health in mind. But most of the available options are based on Western flavors. “Larger companies [often] overlook that minority population, especially in the brewing industry,” says Wong. The food and beverage sector has opportunities to uplift minority communities through authentic means while also introducing new flavor experiences for wider populations. This can also mean incorporating local ingredients into alcoholic offerings, such as Chinese label Peddler’s Gin.