It's one thing to say that hard seltzer has been one of 2019's biggest trends, but sometimes nothing speaks louder than hard data. And according to America's most popular hard seltzer brand White Claw, sales of its product are so high that it can't even keep up.
Multiple sources have confirmed that America is facing White Claw shortages. According to CNN Business, sales of White Claw nearly tripled in July alone, growing 283 percent compared to last year, and the brand accounted for more than half of all hard seltzer sales during the important week of July 4. As a result, White Claw's Senior Vice President of Marketing Sanjiv Gajiwala told the site that the brand is currently trying "to keep all markets in stock the best we can and will continue to do so until we get back to our normal safety stock position."
"We are working around the clock to increase supply given the rapid growth in consumer demand," he added. "White Claw has accelerated faster than anyone could have predicted." Part of the issue is that, though new players continue to enter the hard seltzer market, the viral success of White Claw means that drinkers are seeking out that brand specifically — whether or not it's actually the best-tasting brand on the market. In the past eight weeks alone, White Claw's share of the hard seltzer market has reportedly grown from 55 percent to 61 percent.
Meanwhile, Business Insider went directly to the source — retailers — and found the same story. "It doesn't matter how much White Claw we get in — just about any amount of the cases we bring in will be gone in the next couple days," Josh Giboney, the beer manager at Goody Goody Liquor in Fort Worth, Texas, told the site. "The people buying it are getting in early and getting a lot, knowing it will sell out."
Due to the shortage, distributors are even reportedly tightening their grip on supplies. "They are limiting us to 39 cases per order, when we probably sell 65 cases per week," Ken Wieler, owner of Richboro Beer and Soda in Richboro, Pennsylvania, told BI. "It hasn't been complete outages, but we're not getting what we want."
Of course, a shortage is bad news for White Claw fans, but what does it mean for the brand itself? Is such explosive growth more indicative of a fad than a genuine shift in people's drinking habits? It's an interesting question to ponder over a White Claw… if you can find one.