Update, March 6, 2020: After what seems like an interminable winter devoid of excuses to grip tall, cool cans of spiked seltzer in the sunshine, we’ve reached the White Claw Equinox. Warmer, brighter days are ahead, and there are three new flavors of your favorite beverage to enjoy. As promised, White Claw Tangerine, White Claw Watermelon, and White Claw Lemon—collectively referred to in a company press release as “Flavor Collection Number 2”—are now being sold nationwide in a variety 12-pack alongside the bestselling White Claw Mango.
The press release also noted that White Claw has taken its time developing the new flavors in order to perfect them, having fielded “an outpouring of flavor requests from tens of thousands of eager and passionate consumers.” The tasting notes for each new variety are infused with a fierce, frenetic pride:
White Claw Tangerine provides a splash of refreshing citrus that’s a little more sweet than tart, embodying the splash of biting into a fresh tangerine wedge.
White Claw Watermelon has a hint of bright, ripe watermelon, and is clean and refreshing to taste, not a syrupy candy. This flavor also features a fresh, natural watermelon aroma.
White Claw Lemon has been in development for over two years, as lemon is a very subtle and delicate flavor to work with. Our flavor bursts with a clean lemon aroma providing drinkers with pure, crisp, citrus refreshment.
We know all about the complexities of lemon flavor, thanks to our friends at Hershey; here’s hoping White Claw meets similar citrus success. Go ahead and pick up a 12-pack to ring in the weekend and see for yourself if these flavors are anything special. As for me, White Claw just lost a customer by assuming a watermelon drink that tastes like a syrupy candy would be a bad thing.
Original post, November 22, 2019: Those who deride White Claw as a trivial Millennial distraction might want to take a look at these numbers: White Claw’s vice president of marketing, Sanjiv Gajiwala, told a panel organized by CNN Business that the company expects to do more than $1.5 billion in sales this year. Yes, billion. For comparison, Brown-Forman, which owns Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve, Herradura, Finlandia, Korbel, and a handful of other booze labels, did $3.3 billion in net sales in fiscal year 2019 across all of those brands. White Claw plans to continue on its path toward world domination with three new flavors launching next year: watermelon, lemon, and tangerine.
Though it’s expanding its flavor lineup, White Claw notes it doesn’t want to introduce too many options: “I think one of the things that’s drawn people to White Claw is the simplicity. A lot of the other seltzer brands have 12, 13, 14 flavors,” Gajiwala told the panel.
White Claw is owned by Mark Anthony Brands, the same company that brought us Mike’s Hard Lemonade, a phenomenon in its own right when it launched in 1999. It may be difficult for some of us to remember the craze around Mike’s Hard, which subsequently expanded into 14 flavors and was in large part responsible for the hard soda craze a few years ago. While some drinkers may turn their noses up at these brands as faddish drops in the bucket, Mike’s Hard Lemonade is still around, if not at the popularity it once enjoyed. And Mark Anthony Brands’ success with both Mike’s Hard and White Claw indicates there’s always a new, trendy style of alcohol out there ready to take the grocery store booze case by storm—and make a shit ton of money in the process.