Mark Anthony Brands International will take its White Claw Hard Seltzer to Australia this October through a partnership with Australasian food and beverage marketing company Lion.The new agreement between Mark Anthony Brands International (MABI) and Lion Australia will see White Claw Hard Seltzer – an alcoholic sparkling water – enter the market in October this year. The deal comes just weeks after White Claw announced plans to launch in the UK from 1 June 2020. Davin Nugent, CEO of MABI, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Lion and excited to take the first steps with them into the emerging seltzer category in Australia. “Lion has an outstanding track record of nurturing international brands to success in Australia and we look forward to working with them to introduce local consumers to White Claw Hard Seltzer. “Making the decision to come here was an easy one, as consumers familiar with the brand in America have made sure to have their voices heard on our social media channels, demanding we bring White Claw to Aussie shores.” The deal, described as a “significant step forward” for Lion in the seltzer category, will see the company import, market and distribute White Claw in Australia. MABI launched White Claw in the US in 2016, which is said to have pioneered the hard seltzer movement. According to the brand, it has close to 60% market share – almost three times the size of its nearest competitor, Boston Brewing Company’s Truly hard seltzer brand. At 95 calories per can, White Claw (4.5% ABV) is made from sparkling water, triple-distilled spirit and ‘natural’ fruit flavours. The design of the brand is inspired by the legend of the white claw wave. White Claw Mango, White Claw Natural Lime, and White Claw Ruby Grapefruit will initially be available in Australia, with further variants to come. James Brindley, managing director of Lion Australia, added: “The popularity of White Claw cannot be disputed. Despite the fact the product has not actually been available in Australia up until now, it has well and truly earned its place in popular culture and is the market leader globally in this exciting new category. It is the most sought-after beverage brand in the world right now. “It is a natural fit for our growing portfolio of adult beverages beyond our core beer range – and taps into a number of consumer trends around lower calorie and lower sugar products. “We believe the seltzer category represents a significant growth opportunity for Lion over the coming years and we are looking forward to bringing the biggest seltzer brand in the world to Australia.” The hard seltzer category is currently valued at US$2.5 billion and is witnessing “explosive growth” across North America, with the category’s sales up by more than 240% in 2019, White Claw said. The hard seltzer category sold in excess of 80 million cases in the US. White Claw said its sales grew by 315% in the year-to-date. In March last year, Lion acquired a 50% stake in Australian brand Four Pillars Gin for an undisclosed sum.