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17th Oct 2019

‘It’s highlighting an opportunity’: What the Whiteclaw phenomenon says about the drinks market

Anna O'Rourke

If you spent any amount of time on social media this summer, you probably saw a meme or tweet referring to White Claw and wondered what it was all about.

White Claw is what’s called a hard seltzer in the US; a “spiked” sparkling water with five per cent alcohol content. The drink became a phenomenon across the pond this year, with its sales up 320 per cent on 2018.

Its sudden popularity was down to a new generation of heath-conscious consumers, says Teeling Whiskey founder Jack Teeling.

“It’s low sugar and… came across as an alternative to beer so during the summer months people were looking for something,” he told this week’s episode of All In.

[It was] a younger demographic that didn’t necessarily want to have beer, they thought that was highly calorific. Also, their parents were probably drinking it! [There was also] a perception that it wouldn’t give as bad of a hangover.

“What I found most interesting was it wasn’t just men or women, it was accessible to everyone. So much so that I was in a 7/11 [store in the States] and the shelves were empty because people were coming in and just buying in droves so it was a phenomenal trend.”

Listen to the full interview here.

The White Claw craze says something about where the drinks market may be going, Jack added.

“It’s highlighting the opportunity for low calorie, ‘healthy’ options.

“There’s definitely going to be more interest in low-alcohol alternatives as well, so you can still have the same type of experience but without some of the knock-on effects of drinking the alcohol. It’s pretty hard for someone who’s in the alcohol industry to say that but that’s it!”

Hear more from Jack on this week’s episode of All InJOE’s new business show.

All In, backed by AIB, is available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Wednesday

Feature image via Instagram/ White Claw