For the past six years, Q Drinks’ founder Jordan Silbert has taken a slow and careful approach to line extensions, gradually evolving from a single-SKU tonic water (by which the brand gets its name: Q for its key ingredient, quinine) to its current lineup, which includes a number of sodas and sparkling fruit drinks. And throughout its evolution, Q Drinks has employed a glass bottle for its beverages — a package intended to enhance its premium positioning — which are distributed nationally in Whole Foods as well as other natural and specialty across the U.S.
Yet, when as massive a retailer as Target comes calling — and is asking for cans — Silbert knew that had to make a move and do it fast. At the recently held 2014 Winter Fancy Food Show, Q Drinks unveiled a new 12 oz. Rexam slim can for all seven of its products. The package will debut in Target for a 50-store test in which 4-packs of Q Drinks Tonic, Club and Ginger Ale will be distributed beginning in February.
“We’re, obviously, ecstatic about it,” Silbert said in an interview with BevNET CEO John Craven. “Target is very different from Gramercy Tavern and Whole Foods, and to have those [customers] drinking that ginger ale that I agonized nine months about, or that tonic water that I worked in my kitchen for four years on the recipe, that’s pretty awesome.”
Silbert noted that the new package will introduce the brand to a wider range of consumers, and in addition to Target, the cans will be distributed in up-and-down-the-street cafes. At a suggested retail price of $5.99, the 4-packs of 12 oz. cans will come with a significantly lower price than Q Drinks’ 4-packs of 8 oz. glass bottles, which retail for $7.99. Individual cans will be priced at $1.69-1.99, Silbert said.
In this video, filmed on location at the Fancy Food Show, Silbert talks much more about the company’s evolution from a single SKU brand into a broad line of products. Silbert also talks discusses his steady and measured approach to expansion and growth, as well as the response to the new cans from retailers at the show.