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Could White Claw’s sidestep into spirits show little faith in seltzers?

White Claw, which was established as a hard seltzer brand, has moved into the spirits category with the release of White Claw Premium Vodka.

The White Claw brand, which is owned by the Mark Anthony Group, will roll out bottles in select markets across North America and will offer a regular vodka option as well as pineapple, mango and black cherry flavoured vodkas as part of its new portfolio.

Speaking about the launch, Anthony von Mandl, founder and chief executive of the Mark Anthony Group said: “We spent almost a decade researching and developing a new way to show drinkers what complexity looks, tastes, and feels like within the minimalist experience of vodka” and revealed that his company has invented a technique it calls “triple wave filtered” which essentially filters vodka to achieve a “minimal yet complex combination of aromas and sensations”.

The process is named so because it is first distilled with charred coconut shells instead of activated carbon and then filtered three times with what it calls a “total pressure equivalent to the power of three 30-foot waves”.

Mandl explained: “We created one of the most complex production processes of any vodka in the world to produce a vodka unlike any other.”

The new vodkas being released will range in ABV from 30% ABV to 40% ABV, dependent upon their flavour.

As part of its expansion into vodka, White Claw has also revealed the release of a range of ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails named White Claw Vodka Sodas. The 100 calorie RTD variants will be available in peach, wild cherry, pineapple and watermelon flavours and have been made with the same White Claw vodka that’s sold in bottles.

Mandl added: “We believe the vodka category is ready for its White Claw moment.”

Last spring, Mark Anthony Brands International invested over £4 million in a strategy to boost its White Claw hard seltzer brand at UK festivals over the summer, however this new move looks like the brand is using its popularity to broaden its reach into more accessible and established territory.

Despite hard seltzer’s rise to popularity in the US market, IWSR recently predicted that RTD cocktails were looking decidedly more appealing to consumers and was set to grow at a quicker pace.

A recent study, the IWSR forecast that sales volumes of spirit-based RTD cocktails are set to overtake hard seltzers by 2025 and highlighted how cocktail products are forecasted to command 26% of the total category, compared with hard seltzer lagging behind with just 20% – a statistic that could have provoked the Mark Anthony Group to take its popular White Claw brand and category hop.

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