- Hard seltzer brand White Claw is entering the spirits category with the launch of White Claw Premium Vodka, the company said in a statement.
- White Claw is debuting vodka in four flavors — traditional, Mango, Black Cherry and Pineapple. It’s simultaneously rolling out a ready-to-drink 100-calorie canned cocktail in White Claw Vodka + Soda in Pineapple, Peach, Wild Cherry and Watermelon.
- While White Claw is a market leader in hard seltzer, the category has seen its once red-hot growth dissipate as consumers turn to other ways to consume alcohol, such as ready-to-drink cocktails.
Few brands are as synonymous with hard seltzer as White Claw. But the category has struggled recently as consumers have become overwhelmed by a plethora of choices on store shelves, and increased demand for other popular drinks, such as ready-to-drink cocktails, has grabbed a larger share of the consumer’s pocketbook.
Even though hard seltzer remains a strong category, booze makers such as White Claw that depend heavily on the beverage are cognizant of the fact that the once torrid growth is unlikely to return and it would be wise to diversify into other alcohol categories as consumer tastes continue to change.
To be sure, ready-to-drink cocktails have attracted a bevy of other CPG beverage makers, including Coca-Cola and Vita Coco, that promise to offer fierce competition. White Claw’s vodka will also be going up against market leader Tito’s Handmade Vodka and other popular brands in the category, including Diageo’s Smirnoff.
In an effort to stand out, White Claw said its vodka is Triple Wave Filtered — named for the use of immense pressure equal to three 30-foot waves — which it claims has the same smoothing effect on vodka that ocean waves have on stones and shells.
“We disrupted the industry, creating an entirely new taste in the Hard Seltzer category with White Claw by bringing new thinking, technology breakthroughs, and our unmatched iconic flavors to market,” said Anthony von Mandl, founder and CEO of The Mark Anthony Group of Companies. “The same innovative spirit and technological know-how inspired the creation of our premium vodka—we believe the vodka category is ready for its White Claw moment.”
A catalyst for the new spirit came in 2020 when regulators changed the rules for vodka, White Claw said. Before then, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Board required the spirit to be “without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.”
White Claw is not the first major alcohol brand to bring a popular hard seltzer product into vodka.
Last October, Boston Beer launched Truly Vodka Seltzer, made with six-times-distilled premium vodka and real fruit juice. The company rebranded Truly Vodka Seltzer as Truly Vodka Soda earlier this year to allow the ready-to-drink beverage to benefit from the market recognition of Truly while distancing itself a bit from its ties to seltzer.