White Claw is largely credited with spearheading the booming hard seltzer phenomenon in the US, and currently enjoys an almost 60% market share in the country.
It’s now launching in the UK on June 1 – a market which appears to be primed for the hard seltzer craze – and promises launches in other markets will follow as it seeks to become an ‘iconic, global brand’.
'Making the decision to come to the UK was an easy one'
Hard seltzers – sparkling water spiked with alcohol - are experiencing explosive growth across North America, with total sales growth of 240% in 2019, and achieving over 80m cases with predictions for 2020 set to be even higher.
Launched in the US in 2016 by Mark Anthony Brands, White Claw Hard Seltzer is made from sparkling water, a triple distilled spirit and hint of natural fruit flavour. It has 95 calories per 330ml can and will enter the UK with three flavours: raspberry, black cherry and natural lime. It has an ABV of 4.5% and is naturally flavoured with no artificial sweeteners.
In pioneering the new hard seltzer category, White Claw Hard Seltzer has become something of a cultural phenomenon, with passionate consumers in their millions championing the brand online.
It will be distributed in the UK by Mark Anthony Brands and launches nationwide in Tesco, Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s on June 1.
Davin Nugent, CEO of Mark Anthony Brands International says, “We are delighted to launch White Claw Hard Seltzer in the UK, the brand’s first market outside of North America.
"Making the decision to come here was an easy one, as consumers familiar with the brand in America have made sure to have their voices heard on our social media channels; demanding we bring White Claw to these shores.
"UK retailers have also been hugely supportive of our plans as we seek to lead the development of an entirely new category in alcohol beverage, just as we have done in the US.”
White Claw is not the first hard seltzer to enter the UK market: but its dominant position and power in the US market makes its launch a significant milestone for the category in the UK.
AB InBev’s Mike’s Hard Sparkling Water launched in the UK in November; while other seltzer brands include start-ups DRTY Hard Seltzer and Bodega Bay and US seltzers H2Roads Craft Hard Seltzer and Wild Basin.
With UK consumers seeking healthier products, valuing clean-label and yet also still looking for a little luxury, hard seltzer brands believe the UK market is primed for seltzer success.
In a way, hard seltzer is the natural progression of sparkling water, which has seen booming sales on both sides of the Atlantic. Hard seltzer often benefits from a cleaner, healthier image than that of other alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine.