White Claw’s nationwide shortage has left hard seltzer lovers in a panic headed into the weekend.
CNN Business called White Claw “a victim of its own success.” Sales spiked in July, and the manufacturer was not prepared to keep up with the demand. The company is “working around the clock” to renew its supply, Sanjiv Gajiwala, White Claw’s senior vice president of marketing, said in a statement.
“We are working around the clock to increase supply given the rapid growth in consumer demand,” he said. “White Claw has accelerated faster than anyone could have predicted.”
Fortunately, there are some hard seltzer alternatives on the market. White Claw is one in a crowded field of hard seltzer brands. Truly emerged as a second-favorite brand of hard seltzer for Americans in July, according data from Nielsen, just as Four Loko announced it would begin selling its own hard seltzer with 14 percent alcohol. Anheuser-Busch launched a new line of spiked seltzer in August under the Natural Light brand. The new introductions make it clear that the hard seltzer trend is not going anywhere, even if the shelves are sparse with White Claw products.
White Claw was launched by Mike’s Hard Lemonade maker Mark Anthony Brands in 2016. Also in 2016, Anheuser-Busch bought SpikedSeltzer, which resulted in Bon & Viv. Truly, another popular seltzer, was produced around the same time by Boston Beer.
Here’s what you need to know:
There Is No Word on When the White Claw Shortage Will End
White Claw has not specified when they think their stocks will be back up to normal. They are “working around the clock” to supply the increased demand. Gajiwala told CNN Business it has been “allocating product to our distributor partners to keep all markets in stock the best we can and will continue to do so until we get back to our normal safety stock position.”
White Claw did not immediately catch on when it hit the shelves. White Claw and other hard seltzers have increased in popularity as drinkers became more concerned about the amount of sugar and calories in their drinks. White Claw and Truly both have about 100 calories per can, while Bon & Viv has about 90 calories.
“In a weekend we go through over 100 cases of White Claw’s variety pack,” Olivia Atkinson, the owner of Montauk Beer and Soda in Montauk, New York, at the eastern tip of Long Island, told Business Insider. “Since we don’t have it, that’s 100 cases we didn’t sell.”
Sales Spiked in July, Leading to the Nationwide Shortage of White Claw
Everyone was enjoying White Claw in July, a time when the relatively new company took off. That success led to a depletion of stock in the late summer months, just as White Claw was introducing some new fall flavors like pumpkin spice.
White Claw saw huge success the weekend of the Fourth of July. Its sales increased 200 percent between its 2018 Fourth of July sales, even as Four Loko announced it would be introducing a hard seltzer with 14 percent alcohol. With many hard seltzer brands on the market to choose from, 55 percent of hard seltzer sales Fourth of July weekend were White Claw, according to data from Nielsen.
Sales of the drink grew 283 percent to $327.7 million in July, compared to the same period in July 2018, the Neilsen data showed. It was clear White Claw had become America’s favorite hard seltzer.
Josh Giboney, the beer manager of Goody Liquor in Forth Worth, Texas, told Business Insider the store runs out of White Claw within a couple days, and they have frequently run short of certain flavors. Both men and women seem to love the hard seltzer brand, he said.
“It doesn’t matter how much White Claw we get in — just about any amount of the cases we bring in will be gone in the next couple days,” he said in an interview. “The people buying it are getting in early and getting a lot, knowing it will sell out.”
The Good News Is There Are Hard Seltzer Alternatives on the Market
While you might have White Claw on the mind, there are plenty of hard seltzer alternatives on the market if your local beer outlet ran out of White Claw.
Best Products rated PRESS as the number one hard seltzer, with flavors including pomegranate ginger, blackberry hibiscus, grapefruit cardamom and lime lemongrass. It has 110 calories per can, five grams of sugar and 4 percent ABV.
“A labor of love created by a female founder who sought to re-create her own drink of choice, there’s a lot to love about PRESS,” the review said. “The flavors are more thoughtfully composed and nuanced here than with some other major brands — the tart and aromatic Grapefruit Cardamom, specifically, is a perfectly balanced cocktail.”
Next in line is Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Raspberry Rosé Seltzer. It has 90 calories, 0 grams of sugar and 4.5 percent ABV.
“If you were a fan of Smirnoff’s original line of Spiked Sparkling Seltzer flavors, get excited for their ‘Four Ways to Rosé’ 4-packs. With delicious flavors that include Pink Apple Rosé, White Peach Rosé, Strawberry Rosé, and Raspberry Rosé (featured here), Smirnoff is giving us a serious rosé fix this season,” the review said. “Plus, at only 90 calories and made with zero grams of sugar, Smirnoff’s Spiked Sparkling Seltzer is one of the lowest-calorie options currently on the market. Not to be mistaken with the sugar-loaded Smirnoff Ice of yesteryear, this hard seltzer is all grown-up with its stripped-down ingredient list.”
Bon & Viv and Truly also made the list, coming it at fourth and fifth on the hard seltzer reviews. Bon & Viv has 90 calories, 0 grams of sugar and 4.5 percent ABV.
“A while back, SpikedSeltzer changed up its look and name, becoming BON & VIV Spiked Seltzer. Although this revised recipe contains slightly less alcohol (4.5% ABV) than the original formula (6% ABV), Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer still has a lot of great things going on. At only 90 calories per can, it contains 0 grams of sugar, it’s gluten-free, and made with natural flavors,” the review said. “With the change, there are three fun, botanical flavors: Pear Elderflower, Black Cherry Rosemary, and Clementine Hibiscus. The brand will still have Grapefruit, Cranberry, Lemon Lime, and Prickly Pear.”
Truly hard seltzer berry mix was fourth on the list. It has 100 calories per can, one gram of sugar and 4.5 percent ABV.