White Claw Hard Seltzer, an alcoholic seltzer water beverage and market leader of its category in the United States will finally launch in Germany. Philipp Raddatz, managing director of the Krombacher subsidiary Drinks and More, has landed the German distribution rights for White Claw.
The brand, which was only invented in June 2016 by the Canadian entrepreneur Anthony von Mandl and his Mark Anthony Group, has a 50% share in the exploding Hard Seltzer category in the USA. Sales of White Claw amounted to USD 2.3 billion in 2020 and are expected to more than double to USD 4.7 billion in 2021
In June 2020, the UK was the first country outside of North America to launch the drink with Mark Anthony Brands International, White Claw’s parent company, to distribute the seltzer in the UK.
Hard seltzers are typically low in alcohol (around 5% ABV), low calorie (around 100 per can), and low in sugar, with most cans containing between 1-2 grams. They are also largely vegan and gluten free, which has helped them to win over a legion of health conscious millennial fans in the US. If this concept also works in Europe and especially in Germany is still not clear.
White Claw has also been the number 1 hard seltzer not only in the UK but also in the Netherlands and Ireland where it was launched last year. In Australia, one million cans were sold in stores in the first week after it was launched in October 2020. With the launch in Germany and other European markets in the coming months, the brand's growth will continue.
However, White Claw will not be the first brand to sell a hard seltzer in Germany.
AB Inbev announced in February to launch its own brand Mike's Hard Seltzer this summer in Germany. AB InBev had bought the brand for the market outside of the US from Mark Anthony Group for USD 350 million in 2015.
Another big player is The Coca Cola Company and its brand Topo Chico. The brand was launched in South America in September 2020 and in Europe two months later. In the US the launch of the brand was rather late in March 2021. (inside.beer, 18.3.2021)
Germany is not an easy playing field for White Claw, as the concept of the drink is not known to the public. The discount store Lidl launched in September 2019 its own hard seltzer brand brand Sunrise only with moderate success.
Drinks and More, the company which will now sell White Claw in Germany is a subsidiary of Krombacher, the leading beer brand in Germany. The company has a strong distribution throughout all channels in Germany and Drinks and More has already proven to be successful with other brands like Orangina, Schweppes, Proviant, Dr. Pepperand Vöslauer
White Claw will be launched in May inthe three varieties cherry, lime and mango. A 0.33 liter can will cost EUR 2,49.
Mark Anthony Brands International, now based in Ireland, has allowed its own recipe for Germany and Drinks and More with fermented alcohol.
Thorough this means White Claw evades to be taxed like alcopops which were very successful in Germany especially amongst young people until the government introduced a special alcopop tax in July 2004 which nearly erased the category within months.
“I am extremely proud and honoured to finalize and sign this amazing cooperation for Drinks&More (Krombacher Brewery Group) with Mark Anthony Brands International to officially represent White Claw in Germany,” says Philipp Raddatz. “If what's been achieved in just 4 years in the US is anything to go by there's some very exciting times ahead for hard seltzers in the German market.”