Remember those quaint days when there was no rival beverage on the radar other than the ongoing cola war between Pepsi and Coca-Cola? Even that “war” was only name-based, mainly between advertising executives. Consumers saw the inconvenience of ordering a Coke and getting a Pepsi as minor and easily forgotten when their burgers and fries arrived.
That was 2021, but that was back then. Today, we express our brand preferences not only through our purchases but also through our tweets and TikToks. This unique moment in branding history is best captured by Truly vs. White Claw, a near-legendary hard seltzer battle.
What was the White Claw’s history against? Is this truly a rivalry?
Not many people were talking about spiked seltzer a few years back. Even if we did, it was likely to be a silly Zima joke. You can’t go to a summer barbecue, tailgate, or block party and not find coolers stocked with low-calorie alcoholic beverages. Opinions about hard seltzer are everywhere you look. Loud and passionate opinions about which brand has the best hard seltzer flavor, which one is better for you, and which one corresponds with your Harry Potter House (spoiler, Bud Light Seltzeris Hufflepuff).
The hard seltzer trend was a sudden phenomenon, as we have covered in detail in this blog. The explosion in popularity of sparkling water brands such as La Croix among millennial and Gen Z customers was largely responsible. Beverage makers also capitalized on the growing interest in healthy vices like high protein ice cream, Impossible Burgers and gluten-free anything. It turns out that young consumers want to be healthier without sacrificing the things they love.
White Claw and Truly were not the first hard seltzers to hit the marketplace. SpikedSeltzer is the first hard seltzer to hit the market. It launched in 2013 and was later rebranded Bon V! V. They were the first mass-market imitations to appear when hard seltzer became as popular as…um…regular. This is to say hot.
White Claw and Truly are well-known for their impeccable timing. They were the first to offer alcoholic seltzer water, which was a major reason for their rivalry. The battle of bubbly, boozy beverages inspired many Truly vs. White Claw Reddit threads where fans debate which brand is better through polls and bracket tournaments.
There are more than 65 hard seltzer brands currently on the market. Truly and White Claw still hold 75% each of the spiked-seltzer market. And the competition is only growing more intense all the time: analysts predict that hard seltzer sales could hit $6.5 billion by 2024.
Which hard seltzer brand is the best? We decided to put Truly and White Claw against each other in an ultimate hard seltzer battle.
Let’s face facts: hard seltzer has a major draw because it’s ish for us. We tell ourselves that when we finish our third can of hard seltzer between cheeseburgers. These refreshing summer sippers have a minimum of 125 calories, which is less than a glass of beer or sandal. That’s why they exist.
Truly and White Claw both have 100 calories per 12-ounce can. Both brands have 2 grams of carbs, making them a great choice for those trying to reduce their carb intake.
Truly is slightly ahead in terms of overall sugar content. White Claw has 2 grams of sugar per can, while Truly boasts just 1 gram in each can.
Even though it’s only summer, our social media timelines already have a lot of friends who are mugging with their Truly or White Claw cans. Both brands have been woven into the public consciousness in big ways, but one brand stands out.
White Claw is the most prominent brand on social media. White Claw’s fanbase invented the taglines “White Claw Summer” (unofficial) and “Ain’t No Laws when You’re Drinking Claws”, which are arguably more popular than the official tagline “Let’s White Claw”. Comedy videos such as the ones created by Trevor Wallace are so popular that there have been many imitations and memes. The internet even has articles dedicated to explaining them.