Mark Anthony Brands, maker of this year’s surprise hit White Claw plans to spend USD 385 million in a still-undisclosed location in New Jersey. This will mark the biggest investment in a new production site in the U.S. beverage industry in the last 30 years, according to Anthony von Mandl, founder and CEO of Mark Anthony Brands.
The investment became necessary after White Claw, top-selling brand in the hard seltzer market with a national market share of 58%, was permanently sold out this summer.
“We could sell and ship today 20 million cases we don’t have, out the door,” von Mandl said last week at the Beer Insights Seminar conference in New York. Sales will reach this year USD 1.5 billion.
Von Mandl intends to build the 900,000 sq. ft. brewery, packaging and distribution facility in seven months or less. The new facility will be able to produce about half of all Mark Anthony Brands’ production with production already starting in 2020. In addition to this investment, the company has already identified two more locations and is prepared to invest an additional half a billion dollars on it, von Mandl said.
Canadian billionaire Anthony von Mandl earned his wealth with Mike's Hard Lemonade, a mix of vodka, natural flavors and carbonated water that was introduced to the Canadian market in 1996. When launched in the United States in 1999, the vodka base was replaced by a proprietary malt base.
In 2015, Mark Anthony Group sold the rights to its ready-to-drink brands in Canada (including Mike’s Hard Lemonade) to Labatt Breweries, part of AB InBev, for USD 350 million but retained the rights to sell the beverages in the 5-times bigger US market.
Building on the success of Mike's Hard Lemonade, the company introduced in 2016 White Claw Hard Seltzer, an alcoholic seltzer water beverage which is sold in six different fruit flavors.
Attracted by an ever growing market, also breweries like Boston Beer Co. with its brand Truly Hard Seltzer, Molson Coors with Henry's Hard Sparkling Water and AB InBev with Bud Light Seltzer (inside.beer, 16.11.2019) have jumped on the bandwagon. Constellation Brand was the last player to announce one month ago the launch next spring of a new hard seltzer line under the Corona brand name.