White Claw Shortage Affects Community


(Courtesy of Twitter)

Editor’s Note: Everyone interviewed was over 21 years old. The Fordham Ram requests readers drink responsibly.

It was the hot girl summer, it was the summer that Lil Nas X reigned Billboard, but, most notably, it was the summer of the Claw. While spiked seltzer grew in popularity this past year, it was not until summer that the White Claw brand seemingly appeared out of nowhere and onto our peers’ Instagram and Snapchat stories. Now, it is the drink of choice for many, but that title could be in jeopardy.

Calling White Claw “a victim of its own success,” CNN reported on Sept. 6 that the company is currently experiencing shortages due to high demand for the product. While White Claw is the top contender amongst its competition, other brands have yet to encounter similar stocking issues.

The Fordham Ram evaluated the national trend and crisis on a local level: How has the White Claw shortage affected 21-and-over Fordham students, their lifestyles and local businesses?

Student opinions on spiked seltzer vary depending on which brand each person talks about. Some students still have not had the chance to try White Claw, perhaps because of the shortage causing them to buy other brands. White Claw or not, student demand for spiked seltzer of any brand is apparent. One particular trait that CNN cites as a reason for the seltzer craze is its effect on health when compared to other alcoholic beverages.

“Spiked seltzer is more appealing because it’s low-calorie and will not leave you feeling too bad the next day,” said Mary Interdonati, FCRH ’20.

“You can drink a lot without feeling too sugared out,” stated John Hansen, FCRH ’20. However, some seem to drink spiked seltzer a bit begrudgingly.

“I kinda like them because they are low calorie and stuff, but the taste is not great,” said Adam Borak, FCRH ’20.

Wahaeb Alfahad, an employee at Rams Deli, a carrier of spiked seltzer, offered his input on the matter. He said that the beverage is popular because it’s the healthier drink when compared to something like Four Loko, which is made with unhealthy chemicals. An added bonus is the array of flavors that seltzer offers. White Claw is available in five flavors: black cherry, mango, raspberry, natural lime and ruby grapefruit.

While opinions differ on seltzer flavors, the general consensus is that the taste component of the drink is necessary. When asked about his favorite spiked seltzer, Frank LaGumina, GSB ’20, responded, “White Claw, since it has the best taste to me compared to competitors. [Spiked seltzer] is easier to drink and lighter than, say, beer or something like that. Also, it has unique flavors not typically seen in other alcoholic beverages.”

Monica Morra, GSB ’20, added that she prefers White Claw because she finds that they have “the lowest calories and taste the best,” but also mentioned that the new Smirnoff spiked seltzer is a good replacement during the shortage.

As for White Claw flavors specifically, Rams Deli has been out of mango for over two weeks, and, as of Sept. 16, the only “flavor” available was White Claw Pure, an alternative to a vodka-soda.

Other seltzers in Rams’ inventory include Truly — the number-two best-seller after White Claw — Bon & Viv, Svedka, Natural Light, Pura Still, Cape Line and Arctic Summer. None besides Truly sell as well as White Claw. While Rams still gets shipments of usually 20 to 30 cases per week, before the shortage the deli could sell over 100 cases to Fordham students in a weekend. Each weekend, Alfahad says, White Claw sells out instantly.

On the same block of Rams Deli is 7-Eleven, which also had White Claw as its top-selling drink. When the Ram spoke to employee Carlos Correa on Sept. 16, he revealed that the store sold its last White Claw the day prior. According to his manager, no more shipments of White Claw will be coming to 7-Eleven. Before the shortage, the store had ordered 100 cases. Currently, 7-Eleven offers Smirnoff — its next best-seller — Truly, Bon & Viv, Natural Light and Corona Refresca.

Rams and 7-Eleven are not the only stores facing the consequences of the White Claw shortage. Local bar Mugz’s had attempted to add the drink for $4 each to its menu on Sept. 4. However, on Sept. 10, Daniel “Suits” Morse announced via Instagram that Mugz’s could no longer offer White Claw. “Mugz’s apologizes for not having any more White Claw due to the short supply … as soon as we get more you will be notified,” the post read.

The Fordham Ram spoke to Morse on the trend of seltzer and the disaster of White Claw.

“Last year we tried Truly, and it didn’t sell too good,” said Morse. “I guess I didn’t advertise it as well … but when I put the White Claw out I was amazed — two cases in two days. Faster than anything we sold.”

The beverage performed better than the classic Woo Woo, Mugz’s current best-selling drink. Mugz’s, too, is unable to order any more White Claw at the moment, but the bar still plans to ride the seltzer wave until it ends.

“I was shocked when my boss told me there was a shortage. I didn’t even realize what was going on,” Morse continued. “We’re gonna be trying different stuff. We’re trying to pass off a new one called Natty Light seltzer.”

When asked about trends in the alcohol industry, Morse said that this is the biggest craze he has encountered. “I’m 43 years old; I see so many different trends come and go. … Years ago Cruzan rum used to actually sell and then it took forever to sell the rest. I hope [the shortage] ends soon, because if White Claw sells, why stop it?”

If Mugz’s is able to find a White Claw replacement, so, too, can the rest of the Fordham community? Some say yes.

“I have tried White Claw, but I definitely prefer Bon & Viv spiked seltzer. The flavors are so much better,” said Magee Snyder, FCRH ’20. “To be honest I think White Claw is overrated.”

Interdonati agrees: “My favorite spiked seltzer is definitely Bon & Viv because they have super interesting and different flavors — pear elderflower is bomb.” Only time will tell if this is all just hype. As Morra proposed, the popularity is “ridiculous.”

“Probably just a marketing scheme to create a supply shortage and increase demand,” she said.

If Fordham students are lucky, then White Claw will make a comeback in inventories around the area. Based on the high demand, and on students likening seltzer to a new beer alternative, generic spiked seltzers may have a permanent place in people’s coolers. White Claw, meanwhile, is still in a state of limbo on its own, leaving its number-one spot vulnerable to competitors like Truly and Bon & Viv.