bbiheaderwobuttons1250

Events

Natural Products Expo West
Mar 6-9, 2014 Anaheim, CA

InnoBev Global Soft Drinks Congress
Apr 7-9, 2014 Lisbon

BevNet Live
May 14-15, 2014 New York, NY

National Restaurant Association Show
May 17-20, 2014 Chicago, IL

World Tea Expo/Healthy Beverage Expo
May 29-31, 2014 Long Beach, CA

SupplySide Marketplace
Jun 2-3, 2014 New York, NY

Beer Marketer's Insights Spring Conference
Jun 9-10, 2014 Chicago, IL

InterBev/FMI Interconnect
Jun 10-13, 2014 Chicago, IL

Fancy Food Show
Jun 29-Jul 1, 2014 New York, NY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Archives Search

Keyword Search

Beverage Business Insights

Megadistributor Big Geyser Roils City’s Seltzer Biz with New Brand, Hal’s, That’s Priced to Move New York’s biggest indie DSD house, Big Geyser, is lobbing a grenade into area’s fiercely competitive seltzer market with launch of its own premium brand, Hal’s New York, that’s being priced $2 to $8 per case below rivals like Schweppes, Seagrams, Canada Dry and Polar. Line named for Big Geyser’s larger-than-life founder, Irving Hershkowitz, who went by Hal Irving, is going out in 20-oz PET bottles targeting cold boxes, in range of 7 natural flavors: Original, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Raspberry, Black Cherry and Vanilla Cream. Big Geyser will sell it to its indie route owners at $11.50 per 24-unit case, for price to retailer of $13.50, compared to major brands that go out at $15.50 to $22 per case. That means Hal’s is likely to appear in cold boxes at delis and bodegas as low as 99 cents, vs $2 and up for bigger brands, which are often line-priced with sibling tonics, ginger ales and orange flavors. With CSDs in continuous decline despite relentless promotion, “we’re going after the most profitable category for all our competitors,” said BG prexy Lewis Hershkowitz, Hal’s son, who created brand with his brother Steven via separate co that sells brand to Geyser. Existing seltzer players “have been robbing the retailers for all these years.” In essence, core strategy is to make product that’s “better than the competition, and sell it for a hell of a lot less.” Hal Irving, recall, started out as spirits super-salesman before founding Big Geyser in 1986 and building it with his sons into major house whose brands currently comprise likes of Vitaminwater, Monster Energy, Sparkling Ice, Sunny Delight, Nesquik and Honest Tea. He passed away in fall 2011.

Launch is notable on a # of fronts. It seems certain to roil 6-mil-case NY seltzer segment that’s been rare respite for big soft drink bottlers from relentless declines of CSDs, and which has drawn newcomers like New England’s Polar and Canada Dry in recent years as consumers migrate to sparkling category that’s unsweetened. So far this year, seltzers in city are up 32% even as CSDs continue to slide. Hal’s also represents first time in BG’s 28-year history that distributor is launching its own brand, after not even having played in sparkling segment until it picked up Sparkling Ice a year ago. In that sense, it will be echoing other distributors who’ve created successful brands, including Denver’s New Age, with its Xingtea iced tea line, and local beer-and-bev house SKI, with its Ralph & Charlie’s juice drinks. “This is a day 30 years in the making,” Lewis declared at formal kickoff this morning at distributor’s monthly sales meeting. (Unusually, reps from other Geyser suppliers were invited into room to hear plan, on theory that new brand that makes house stronger will benefit them too.) “Guys, this is a big day in this company’s history.” Also unusually, co is avoiding 1-liter bottles for now, staying away from most intensely price-competitive pack in groceries, in favor of 20-oz oriented to up-and-down-street biz where brands are built and Geyser is very strong. If brand does well, then Big Geyser will consider other package configurations, as well as extensions into related categories like tonics and ginger ales.

Brand bottled in nearby NJ offers several cues intended to position it as a notch above the major brands, Big Geyser coo Jerry Reda pointed out. Unlike some seltzer brands, it employs only natural flavors, contains no sodium and is certified as OU kosher. Brand name is printed on cap. Branded shipping trays are produced in Staten Island from 100%-recycled paper from NY. It uses proprietary glide racks.

Hershkowitz said co was driven to launch its own seltzer after it couldn’t land deal with existing brands on terms it deemed acceptable. If you can’t join them, you may as well beat them, he reasoned. “The only thing seltzer needs (to succeed) is distribution, and we have the best distribution system in New York,” he said. Tho Big Geyser is active member of Northeast Independent Distributors Assn, Lewis said co had no plans to pitch brand to them or to other wholesalers until it’s confirmed that brand, packaging and pricing strategy work. Even as brand hits streets for first time, some tweaks already are being planned to give label greater shelf impact. Until today, co has treated launch as hush-hush matter, even tho brand appeared on back cover of co’s latest sales brochure several weeks ago and co began actively pitching retailers 2 weeks back.

Cutting Edge Info for the Savvy Beverage Executive

 


As an effective beverage executive, you need to explore all potential avenues for revenue growth and margin enhancement. Beverage Business Insights -BBI-gives you the info you need to keep up with the latest trends in the dynamic world of non-alcoholic beverages. It's produced by the same team that brings you Beer Marketer's Insights, and is written with the needs of beer wholesalers specifically in mind: straightforward, to the point, and with a street-savvy orientation. BBI helps you to separate the news from the noise.

BBI offers informed assessments of up-and-coming brands and categories. We were among the first to identify coconut water category as a winner, and we have carefully traced the rollout plans of brands like Activate, Body Armor, Neuro and Marley. We give you up-to-date info on the DSD plans of brands like these, and track developments at brands like Vita Coco and Muscle Milk as they prepare to transition out of the independent distribution system. We offer insights into how beer distributors around the country are developing sustainable non-alc beverage businesses, as well as the contract issues that have kept some brand owners outside the DSD system. BBI gives you frequent updates of scanner data in measured channels, so that you know where the growth is. BBI also has kept a close watch on intriguing moves by major beverage players & investors in this space, including Tata Global Beverages' investments in Vitaminwater and Activate as they seek 'experiential' brands with social & environmental goals. BBI goes behind the scenes at major launch platforms like Natural Products Expo West and the NACS convenience store expo, bringing you key emerging beverages. Your subscription cost is a fraction of what you'd pay to attend any of these meetings yourself, plus you get unique and valuable insights from BBI's editor and longtime beverage trendwatcher, Gerry Khermouch.

BBI focuses on what's innovative, what's new and what's moving off the shelves. You get valuable news and in-depth analysis. Since BBI is brought to you by Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS, the leading trade publisher for the beer business for over 40 years, you can count on our dedication to fairness, accuracy and timeliness.

See for yourself what people are talking about. Stay in the loop with one easy step. Subscribe to Beverage Business INSIGHTS. BBI comes out at least 90x per year and as soon as possible whenever big news breaks, available via e-mail. It costs just $390 per year. That's a small price to pay to stay on top of the trends. Don't miss a single lead on hot new non-alc brands. Order today!

P.S. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you are ever dissatisfied, we will gladly refund the unused portion of your subscription. 

Who Should Read Beverage Business Insights?
  • Distributors
  • Beverage executives
  • Beverage Ad execs
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Co-packers
  • Strategic planning execs
  • Product development staff
  • Private equity & venture capital investors



Beverage Business Insights tells you everything you need to know about emerging and established non-alc beverage brands.

Order your satisfaction-guaranteed subscription today!

Here is some of the info BBI readers had access to recently:

 

    • Red Bull Sets Sales Meeting, Preps Total Zero as Part of Trifecta



    • Ex-Fiji, Pabst Chief Cochran Back in NAs, at Helm of AquaHydrate; Rethinking Premise; Has Given Himself 8-10 Weeks to Take Hydration Brand 'from Good to Great'



    • Monster Outerforms Rivals on Volume, Price in Dec



    • Calypso Surpassed 2 Mil Cases in 2011; Boosts Chicago DSD Presence; Plans New Flavor



    • FANCY FOOD: Back in Juice Biz at Califia Farms, Steltenpohl Reflects on Odwalla, Adina Lessons; Warns Against Institutional Funding; Sees Opportunities in Local/Simple Nexus



    • Body Armor Investor Repole: 'Had to Be Something Special' to Re-Enter Bevs; Seeing Repeat Biz Already; Believes All-in-One Concept Makes It iPhone of Bevs



    • Adina Lays Off Sales Force while Continuing Search for New Partners



    • FANCY FOOD: Republic of Tea Changes Packs to Celebrate 20 Years; Enters Sweet Tea Realm; Plans Probiotic, Red-Wine-Extract Additions to Be Well Line for Expo West



    • PEOPLE: Kurtz Hits Ground Running at Bai; Body Armor Confirms 'Significant' Repole Investment



    • SPECIAL REPORT: Vita Coco May Approach $200M Sales in 2012; National Rollout Should Be Complete; Will Reassert Tropical Positioning, Dial Up Paid-Media Budget



    • RESEARCH: Clues Revealed on Why Coffee Cuts Risk of Diabetes



    • Anheuser-Busch Adds to Branch Network with Ore Deal; Keeps Monster, Outside Craft Brands



  • And much, much more!

If you make, market, distribute or follow non-alcoholic beverages, give yourself the competitive edge enjoyed by Beverage Business Insights subscribers today.