Is White Claw an RTD?

Answered by Arthur Reyes

Is White Claw an RTD?

White Claw, the popular hard seltzer brand, has gained immense popularity in recent years. Known for its refreshing and light taste, it has become a go-to choice for many consumers looking for a low-calorie and low-sugar alternative to traditional alcoholic beverages. However, with the recent announcement of White Claw's entry into the and -based RTD (Ready-to-Drink) categories, it raises the question of whether White Claw can truly be considered an RTD.

To understand this, let's first delve into what exactly constitutes an RTD. RTD beverages are pre-mixed alcoholic drinks that are ready to consume straight from the bottle or can. They typically combine spirits like vodka, , or with mixers like , , or tonic . RTDs have gained popularity due to their convenience and ease of consumption, as they eliminate the need for additional ingredients or bartending skills.

White Claw, on the other hand, is primarily known for its hard seltzer offerings. Hard seltzers are alcoholic beverages typically made by fermenting sugar with , resulting in a low-calorie, carbonated drink. They are often flavored with fruit essences to provide a refreshing taste. White Claw falls into this category, as it is made from a blend of seltzer water, a gluten-free base, and natural fruit flavors. It does not contain spirits like vodka or whiskey, which are the main components of traditional RTDs.

However, White Claw's foray into the vodka and spirits-based RTD categories with their new line of beverages blurs the lines between these two categories. The new products, marketed as White Claw Hard Seltzer Surge, are described as having a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) content compared to the original White Claw offerings. This higher ABV is achieved by adding a vodka-based alcohol to the existing hard seltzer formula. By doing so, White Claw aims to attract consumers who are looking for a stronger alcoholic while still enjoying the convenience and refreshing taste of a hard seltzer.

From a technical standpoint, White Claw's new vodka and spirits-based RTD products can indeed be classified as RTDs. They fit the definition of pre-mixed alcoholic beverages that are ready to drink without any additional preparation. However, it's important to note that these new offerings still retain the core characteristics of the original White Claw hard seltzers, such as the use of seltzer water and natural fruit flavors. This fusion of the two categories creates a unique product that appeals to a wider range of consumers.

In my personal experience as a sommelier and brewer, I have seen the rise in popularity of both hard seltzers and RTDs. They cater to different consumer preferences and occasions. Hard seltzers are often favored for their light and refreshing nature, making them a popular choice for outdoor activities or social gatherings. On the other hand, RTDs provide a more diverse range of flavors and alcohol content, appealing to those who seek a stronger or more complex drink.

The introduction of White Claw's vodka and spirits-based RTD line showcases the brand's ability to adapt and cater to evolving consumer demands. By combining the convenience of an RTD with the refreshing taste of a hard seltzer, White Claw aims to capture a larger market share and appeal to a broader audience.

While White Claw's original hard seltzers may not fit the traditional definition of an RTD, the brand's new vodka and spirits-based offerings can certainly be classified as such. This expansion into the RTD category highlights White Claw's versatility and willingness to innovate in response to changing consumer preferences. Whether you prefer the classic hard seltzer or the new vodka-infused RTD, White Claw continues to offer a range of options for consumers seeking a convenient and enjoyable drinking experience.