Move over, avocado — there’s a new shortage rocking American college students. The country is facing the first-ever shortage of White Claw Hard Seltzer.
White Claw is the hard seltzer industry’s prized possession, accounting for nearly 5 percent of all hard seltzer sales the week of July 4 this year. Drink sales have grown 283 percent over the last year and have outgrown the speed of production. White Claw confirmed to CNN Business there is a nationwide shortage of their product.
White Claw President Phil Rosse said in an email statement to The Daily they are actively working to ensure stock returns to normal.
“White Claw is currently growing at 260 percent for the third consecutive year – all thanks to consumers that love our product,” Rosse said. “We are working around the clock to increase current supply and total capacity heading into 2020 so that we can get every consumer White Claw when they want it.”
At the University of Michigan, students were troubled over the news. White Claw Hard Seltzer has become a staple around the University campus, whether in the hands of students being arrested for underage drinking during a game day or being passed around in their decorative white case at a day party.
LSA senior Max Lederman said he was expecting White Claws to be popular during the school year, but was not prepared for just how prominent they would be on campus.
“Coming off of the summer I definitely knew that White Claw was gaining a lot of popularity,” Lederman said. “But I had no idea that when I came to Michigan it was going to be as widely consumed as it has been. Like I’ve seen it at every tailgate, every pregame that I’ve been to. People are just really sippin’ on them.”
Lederman, whose favorite flavor of the drink is ruby grapefruit, said he thinks White Claw is a lighter substitute for beer, which he finds harder to drink.
“It’s a nice alternative to drinking beer, just because when you drink beer you get really full. It makes your stomach upset, but you can drink a lot of White Claws,” Lederman said. “They’re also just refreshing.”
Information senior Rachel Rothstein, who also prefers the ruby grapefruit flavor, agreed White Claw provided a better alternative to hard liquor.
“I think that it’s an easy drink that tastes good, so you can drink slowly and it still has the same effect,” Rothstein said.
Rothstein said since her friends have been buying the drink in bulk, she feels her community at the University would be directly affected by a shortage.
“In my house, everybody drinks White Claw, and if I didn’t know about the shortage from the news, I would have no idea because people in my house buy at least seven packs a week,” Rothstein said.
However, according to Robert Kesto, owner of Ann Arbor’s Champion’s Party Store, U-M students have nothing to worry about. Kesto said they have more than enough of the spiked seltzer and don’t expect to run out any time soon.
“We have not run out, and we’re a busy store,” Kesto said. “Welcome Week is the busiest week of the year, and we didn’t run out, so I don’t think we will ever run out.”
Kesto actually remarked that Natural Light Seltzer has been just as popular lately and has been taking some sales away from White Claw.
“In my store, Natty Light has taken half of their sales,” Kesto said.
Either way, it might not be a bad idea for students to stock up while they still can.