Metromint Folded into Crystal Geyser

We’re still fleshing out the moving parts on this, but it appears that Metromint, the 9-year-old mint essence water brand started by entrepreneurs Rio Miura and Scott Lowe, is no longer operating independently, as an announcement went out today that it was being added to the Crystal Geyser product portfolio. Both Crystal Geyser and Metromint are owned by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.

That company has rolled up several significant CPG holdings recently, including Ridge Vineyards, Crystal Geyser, Pharmavite — which makes supplements and SOYJOY bars — among others. It’s run by former Talking Rain CEO Doug MacLean. Crystal Geyser also controls Juice Squeeze and Tejava.

Metromint owner Soma Beverage Co.  was quietly scooped up by Otsuka not long ago; Crystal Geyser has been owned by the large Japanese pharmaceutical concern since 1991.

Release follows:

Crystal Geyser Water Company And Soma Beverage Company Build Sales Partnership For Natural Beverage Portfolio

Makers of Crystal Geyser Sparkling Mineral Water and Metromint Bottled Waters Partner to Expand Reach of Product Offerings

SAN FRANCISCO, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Napa-Valley based Crystal Geyser Water Company and San Francisco-based Soma Beverage Company announced this month that they have entered into a sales licensing agreement, whereby Crystal Geyser Water Company will add Metromint bottled waters to its product portfolio.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130304/LA69829)

“We’re looking forward to being able to offer our customers and distributors a wider range of new products to fit their individual preferences through this collaboration,” said Doug MacLean, CEO of Crystal Geyser Water Company. “Soma Beverage Company’s strength is innovation and product development, and it made sense to leverage these qualities to further serve our customers’ needs.”

An industry innovator, Crystal Geyser Water Company (CGWC) pioneered flavored sparkling mineral water, whose popularity continues to grow as more consumers seek natural alternatives to sugared or artificially sweetened soft drinks.

In addition, CGWC produces Juice Squeeze(®), a refreshing line of lightly carbonated juice beverages that contain a full serving of fruit and are made with 70 percent real fruit juice and no added sugars or preservatives.

CGWC also produces Tejava(®), the world’s only 100 percent all natural, microbrewed iced tea made entirely from handpicked tea leaves from the island of Java.  Tejava has been recognized for the past two years as the North American Tea Champion in the unsweetened iced tea category

“This partnership increases Metromint’s distribution reach and opens multiple trade channels throughout the Western United States via Crystal Geyser Water Company’s existing accounts,” said Scott Lowe, president and CEO of Soma Beverage Company. “Crystal Geyser Water Company is well-known throughout the country as a leading flavored sparkling mineral water manufacturer. Together, we offer our trade customers a broader beverage portfolio with a single point of contact.”

Metromint, an all-natural purified water infused with real mint and pure flavor essence, is available in seven 16.9 oz. (500mL)  varieties including Peppermint, Spearmint, Orangemint, Lemonmint, Chocolatemint, Cherrymint and Goodberrymint. It is calorie-free and contains no artificial sugars, sweeteners, colors or flavors.

About Crystal Geyser Water Company

Crystal Geyser Water Company (CGWC), based in Calistoga, CA, is a natural beverage company founded in Napa Valley. For more than 35 years, the company has been committed to creating premium quality, wholesome and delicious natural beverages. CGWC products can be found at grocery, natural foods, drug/mass merchant, club stores, and food service outlets throughout the Western United States. Crystal Geyser Water Company operates as a subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. For more information, please visit http://www.crystalgeyser.com

About Soma Beverage Company

San Francisco-based Soma Beverage Company, LLC, is an innovative brand leader widely recognized for pioneering the all natural, still, flavored water category. Since its introduction in 2004 by founders Rio Miura and Scott Lowe, its original, award-winning Metromint has become one of the top 10 selling premium bottled waters in the natural foods channel. An idea-driven company that carefully balances science with nature through its state-of-the-art purification process, Soma Beverage Company is widely known for combining pure ingredients, innovative packaging and extraordinary taste. Soma Beverage Company is majority-owned subsidiary Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. For more information, please visit http://www.somabeverage.com

MEDIA CONTACT:

Jennifer Agnew

323-762-2417

jennifer.agnew@porternovelli.com