The hard seltzer market has exploded in recent years, with White Claw and Truly leading the charge.
Both brands offer a variety of flavors and boast similar nutritional facts, but what sets them apart? Consumers have been debating which brand is superior, with some even claiming that they can taste a difference.
White Claw was launched in 2016 and quickly became a hit among drinkers looking for a low-calorie, low-carb alternative to beer. Truly, on the other hand, was first introduced in 2015 by the Boston Beer Company, the makers of Sam Adams. Despite being around for a year longer than White Claw, Truly took longer to gain popularity. However, in recent years, the brand has caught up and now offers a wide range of flavors.
While both brands have a similar alcohol content and calorie count, there are slight differences in their nutritional information. For example, Truly has slightly less sugar than White Claw. However, the differences are minimal and may not be noticeable to the average consumer.
History and Market Presence
White Claw’s Journey
White Claw, owned by Mark Anthony Brands, International, was launched in 2016. It quickly gained popularity and became a household name in the United States. In 2019, White Claw sales quadrupled, reaching $627.2 million, according to Bloomberg. White Claw’s surge in popularity led to a shortage of the product in some parts of the country, which was dubbed the “White Claw Summer.”
White Claw’s success is attributed to its low-calorie content, gluten-free ingredients, and refreshing taste. The brand also has a wide range of flavors to choose from, including mango, black cherry, and grapefruit.
In 2021, Boston Beer Company, the parent company of Samuel Adams, announced its partnership with Mark Anthony Brands to create a new line of hard seltzers to compete with White Claw.
Truly, owned by Boston Beer, was launched in 2016, around the same time as White Claw. However, it took Truly a bit longer to gain traction in the market. In 2019, Truly’s market share was 10%, while White Claw’s was 58%, according to Gopuff.
Truly’s success is attributed to its low-calorie content, gluten-free ingredients, and unique flavors. The brand has flavors like raspberry-lime, blueberry- acai, and passion fruit.
In 2020, Truly launched a new line of hard seltzers with higher alcohol content to compete with White Claw Surge. The new line, called Truly Extra, has 8% alcohol by volume, compared to the regular Truly’s 5% alcohol by volume.
When it comes to hard seltzers, two of the most popular brands on the market are White Claw and Truly.
Both brands offer a range of flavors and boast a relatively low caloric content. However, there are some differences between the two that may influence which one you choose to drink.
White Claw Features
White Claw hard seltzers are made with a blend of seltzer water, a gluten-free alcohol base, and a hint of fruit flavor. The alcohol comes from fermented cane sugar and is then mixed with natural flavors and juice concentrate. The result is a refreshing, fizzy drink with a 5 percent ABV and only 100 calories per can.
White Claw comes in a variety of flavors, including black cherry, mango, pineapple, lemonade, grapefruit, raspberry, passion fruit, blueberry, and ruby grapefruit. The brand also offers a “Citrus Squeeze” flavor that contains natural lime and tangerine flavors.
One of the key features of White Claw is that it is gluten-free, which makes it a popular choice for those with gluten sensitivities. It also contains only two grams of carbs and one gram of sugar per can, making it a healthier alternative to other alcoholic beverages.
Truly hard seltzers are also made with a blend of seltzer water, alcohol, and natural fruit flavors. The alcohol in Truly comes from malted barley and corn, which is fermented and then distilled to create a neutral grain spirit. This spirit is then mixed with natural flavors and juice concentrate to create the final product.
Truly comes in a range of fruit flavors, including wild berry, blackberry, blueberry acai, and watermelon kiwi. The brand also offers a “Lemonade” flavor that contains juice from real lemons.
Like White Claw, Truly has a 5 percent ABV and contains only 100 calories per can. However, Truly has one gram of sugar per can, compared to White Claw’s two grams of sugar.
One of the key characteristics of Truly is that it is made without any artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors. This makes it a popular choice for those who prefer drinks made with natural ingredients.
In terms of production, both White Claw and Truly are considered hard seltzers, which means they are made using a similar process to malt liquor. However, they are not considered malt liquor themselves, as they do not contain malted barley or other grains. Instead, they are classified as “hard seltzers” or “refreshing alcoholic beverages.”
When it comes to caloric content, both White Claw and Truly are relatively similar. According to Delish, White Claw’s Vodka + Soda contains 100 calories per can, while Truly’s Vodka Soda has 110 calories. However, both brands include just a few simple ingredients, including citric acid and sodium citrate, making them a low-calorie option in the hard seltzer market.
Sugar and Carbs
The main difference between White Claw and Truly comes down to their sugar and carb content. According to Business Insider, while White Claw has 2 grams of carbs, Truly has just 1 gram, giving Truly a slight edge in terms of sugar content. However, White Claw’s iced tea line only has 1 gram of sugar, making it comparable to Truly’s sugar content.
It’s worth noting that both brands offer options with zero carbs, including White Claw’s Pure Hard Seltzer and Truly’s Truly Pure Spiked & Sparkling. These options are a good choice for those who are watching their carb intake.