Yup, it was Texas.
The Lone Star State was the last holdout when it came to filling out the final piece of Sparkling Ice’s national DSD puzzle. But with a few beer distributors on board, according to CEO Kevin Klock, the company has completed what it is calling the first national Direct Store Delivery (DSD) distribution network for a private beverage company “since the sale of Vitaminwater.”
While there are others that might fit the bill, it’s unlikely that any have made the transition as fast as Sparkling Ice, which went from $100 million to more than $400 million in sales in about 18 months.
The new network comprises 252 distributors and allows the brand the luxury of having distributors actively selling the product in channels beyond grocery and drug, trying to gain shelf space in the “up and down the street” markets that establish the brand.
“We had many of the big national accounts, now it’s the ones that don’t necessarily come at a national scale,” Klock said.
One more note about the brand’s national status — Klock recently found himself in the Dallas airport, where a fellow passenger, upon noticing Klock’s Sparkling Ice shirt, found out that he was the CEO of the brand.
“He was so excited he took a picture with me,” Klock said. “He sent it to his daughter. I had my first ‘selfie.’”
And in Texas, no less.
Full release is below:
Preston, WA (April 30, 2014) – Sparkling ICE® sparkling spring water, part of the TalkingRain® portfolio of beverages, is pleased to announce today the completion of its U.S. Direct Store Delivery (DSD) distribution network. Comprised of over 252 distributors, this DSD network is now bringing Sparkling ICE beverages to grocery stores, drug stores, C-stores and other retail and non-traditional outlets in all 50 states.
This unique system, comprised of leading distributors is the first of its kind for a private beverage company since the sale of VitaminWater; and will serve as the foundation for continuing the explosive growth of Sparkling ICE beverages in the U.S. The completed network includes a combination of Anheuser-Busch, Miller Coors and independent distributors specializing in building brands.
“Our DSD network is the result of an extensive and well-coordinated effort by our sales team. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with some of the best distributors in the country as we amplify our distribution efforts for Sparkling ICE and continue to grow the brand,” said Kevin Klock, CEO of TalkingRain Beverage Co. “This hand-picked group of distributors lays the groundwork for Sparkling ICE beverages to reach every county in the United States.”
TalkingRain, founded in 1987, attributes the company’s recent and unprecedented growth to an increased focus on its Sparkling ICE brand. Sparkling ICE products were recognized in both the 2011 and 2012 IRI New Product Pacesetters reports, an industry-recognized benchmark analysis of exceptional CPG sales success. The brand also received recognition in Nielsen’s“Breakthrough Innovation Awards” for 2013. TalkingRain was named Beverage Forum’s “Company of the Year” for 2013, and was also recognized by Beverage World with an honorable mention in their “Liquid Refreshment Company of the Year” and“Breakout Brand” features for 2013. Most recently, CEO Kevin Klock was named “Person of the Year” in the BevNet “Best of 2013” Awards.
About Sparkling ICE® Beverages
Sparkling ICE has made a great tasting, refreshing, zero-calorie beverage Perfectly Possible™. Combining naturally flavored mountain spring water, fruit juice, vitamins and antioxidants, Sparkling ICE offers a bold, flavored, lightly-carbonated beverage that appeals to all age groups. Available in eleven refreshing flavors: Black Raspberry, Orange Mango, Pink Grapefruit, Kiwi Strawberry, Coconut Pineapple, Pomegranate Blueberry, Peach Nectarine, Lemon Lime, Crisp Apple and new in 2014 Cherry Limeade and Strawberry Watermelon. Sparkling ICE Lemonades®, launched in 2013, are available in six refreshing flavors:Classic Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade, Lemonade with Tea and new in 2014, Peach Lemonade and Mango Lemonade. Sparkling ICE can be found in retailers nationwide. Sparkling ICE is part of the TalkingRain family of beverages, and retails for $1.19-$1.29. To locate Sparking ICE visit www.sparklingice.com.