Maine Root Organic Soda Pops from Farmers’ Markets to CNBC

AUSTIN, Texas – July 6, 2006 – This Friday night, brothers Matt and Mark Seiler, founders of organically sweetened Maine Root Sodas, will experience another kind of sweet—the taste of success with a nationally-aired story on CNBC’s “On the Money,” running from 7 to 8 pm EST, July 7th (6 to 7 pm CST). The segment profiles the brothers’ rise to organic soda leadership, fueled by their fun-loving approach to business and a tongue-in-cheek grass roots marketing campaign, Free Range Root Beer The campaign, complete with music and “undercover” videos laments the “inhumane bottling practices of ‘corporate’ soda companies,” and encourages people to join the Maine Root “groovement.”

For the story, CNBC reporter Mike Hegedus traveled with the Brothers Seiler as they worked and played from Maine to Texas, interviewing company executives from Whole Foods, Wild Oats Markets, industry trade press and Portland, Maine’s Mayor Jim Cohen.

The Seiler Brothers’ soda success story started in 2003, when younger brother Matt, 36, a boat builder, helped a friend build a pizza oven at his Portland, Maine restaurant. Finding the restaurant’s root beer less than palate pleasing, Matt brewed his own using organically grown cane sugar. A year later, brother Mark, 40, quit his software sales job in Austin, Texas, to help expand distribution of the sodas. Spending their Saturdays handing out samples at farmers’ markets, knocking on doors of natural food grocers like Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Lois’ Natural Foods, and winning awards at beverage industry trade shows created lots of fizz for the company’s three flavors: Root beer, Gingerbrew and Sarsaparilla. This year, Maine Root expects to sell over a million sodas in 28 states, doubling their revenues from 2005.

Maine Root’s web-centric Free Range Root Beer campaign was developed by Austin-based ad agency Door Number 3 “The campaign mirrors Matt and Mark’s off-beat sense of humor and passionate approach to their business,” noted Door Number 3 Creative Director Prentice Howe. “I mean, these guys used to deliver sodas in their VW van Matt converted to run on recycled fryer oil collected from restaurants. Matt claims the muffler smelled like French fries or Chinese food, depending on where the oil came from.”