Sparkling Ice Ups Stock in Lemonade

A flourishing brand has escalated its role in a budding category.

Sparkling Ice, the core brand of TalkingRain Beverage Co. and one of the fastest growing non-alcoholic beverage lines in the country, has expanded its lemonade portfolio with three new flavors: Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade and Lemonade with Tea. The three new SKUs are intended to complement the company’s strongly-performing Classic Lemonade that launched last year.

“We’re not just trying to ride Ice,” said Kevin Klock, CEO of TalkingRain Beverage Co. “We want to make sure that we start building our portfolio in lemonade.”

Klock told BevNET that he and his team were studying other categories in the beverage industry and noticed that lemonade was performing strongly despite a noticeable gap in the market.

“If you look at the real main, prominent people in the category, they’re high calorie,” Klock said.

This resulted in the release of Classic Lemonade, a product that contains no calories, carbohydrates or sodium, and has grown rapidly since its release last year, Klock said.

Along with the strong results of Classic Lemonade, continued success in the category and consumer feedback also influenced Klock’s decision to launch three new lemonade flavors. The lemonade category accumulated $260,928,800 in sales over the previous 52 weeks ending on Jan. 27, a 16.7 percent increase from the previous year, according to Symphony IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm.

TalkingRain conducted consumer research by communicating with fans of the brand through social media and the company’s phone line. The research indicated that consumers thought the new lemonade flavors were refreshing, and if they were offered in stores, they’d strongly consider making a purchase. After reaching test markets in April, the three new flavors are currently available in stores where Sparkling Ice is sold at a suggested retail price of $1.19 to $1.29.

The portfolio expansion arrives amid rapid growth for the entire TalkingRain company. A study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group and IRI, released at the end of April, noted TalkingRain as the fastest growing company in 2012 with retail sales between $100 million and $1 billion. The study found that TalkingRain accumulated a 283.3 percent increase in dollar sales from the previous year.