Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) like hard seltzer have exploded in popularity in the US in the last two years, with White Claw performing as one of the most dominant brands on the market. Hard seltzer sales rose by 169% in 2018 and volume sales were up by 181%, according to Nielsen data.
It does best in off-premise retail sales and is most popular in the warm summer months. Hard seltzer still has a lot of room to grow on-presence, struggling to interest bars and restaurants that already have a full menu of beer, cider and spirits.
Many brands have largely interchangeable flavors in their portfolios (such as lime, mango, berry)., while packaging in the category is predominantly slim white cans.
So when it came time for White Claw to add on to its existing flavors--Black Cherry, Natural Lime, Ruby Grapefruit, Raspberry and Mango--it wanted to fulfill “the unmet consumer need for a convenient and refreshing alternative to vodka and soda.”
White Claw Pure is designed to be a new option for vodka soda drinkers, as 55% of vodka consumption is mixed with soda, tonic or water. Devoid of any flavor, Pure is designed to incorporate into other drinks and be customized by each individual drinker.
Sanjiv Gajiwala, senior VP of marketing at White Claw Seltzer Works, said "While many other hard seltzer brands continue to release more complicated flavors, we know consumers love the clean, refreshing taste of White Claw and identified an opportunity to launch a hard seltzer in its simplest form with White Claw Pure Hard Seltzer."
White Claw says its drinks “encourage active living by eliminating the need to transport ingredients necessary to craft preferred drinks.” The alcohol in White Claw comes from fermented sugars, and cane sugar and natural flavors are added to its original flavors after alcohol fermentation.
Pure will be limited edition for the summer, first hitting shelves April 1. It contains 100 calories per 12oz can with 0g of sugar and 5% ABV.