While AriZona’s $1 billion bill has certainly dominated news about the company in recent days, it’s a fair guess the tea giant would rather be talking about a few of the new products that it introduced at the 2014 National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) show, which was held earlier this month in Las Vegas.
Packed with over a dozen beverage lines and sub-brands, AriZona’s NACS show booth showcased a broad array of drinks and package types, giving special attention to a few, including its new Shaq Fu Punch, a line of fruit punch drinks that the company developed in collaboration with former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. In addition, AriZona promoted the launch of its Oak Reserve teas, which are brewed with American Oak chips and come in three varieties: Lightly Sweet, Unsweetened and Lemon. The company also introduced Coco Nutz, a two-SKU line of pina-colada-flavored malt beverages.
AriZona’s most intriguing new product, however, was one that the company gave only scant attention. Yet while the company displayed only a couple prop bottles of “Good Brew,” a new lemon-flavored, cane sugar-sweetened tea, packaged in a clear 59 oz. carafe with a teal-colored cap and hipster/throwback label, the multi-serve beverage certainly stood out.
Speaking with Spencer Vultaggio, the director of brand development for Arizona Beverages, BevNET learned that Good Brew is still a few months away from a launch date, but the company nevertheless teased the new product at the NACS show, having completed the process for trademarking “AriZona Good Brew” on Oct. 7, the day before the event began.
Eyeing the dairy set for new placement of the brand, AriZona is aiming to position Good Brew alongside other refrigerated multi-serve tea products like Coca-Cola’s Gold Peak Tea, which markets a similarly shaped carafe. Unlike the majority of other AriZona teas, Good Brew contains no high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) — an often criticized sweetener — and is instead formulated with cane sugar. It will be the second HFCS-free tea line in AriZona’s portfolio: Oak Reserve’s sweetened varieties are made with cane sugar, honey, maple sugar.
The formulation is notable for AriZona. The company has been rebuked and unsuccessfully sued for marketing its products as “all-natural” despite its use of HFCS. Vultaggio said that Good Brew was developed to attract head of household grocery shoppers and a slightly more affluent type of consumer, each of whom who are increasingly vigilant about beverage ingredients.
As for Good Brew’s retro-looking label, Vultaggio noted that the “old-school appearance” is inspired by designs seen within the craft beer segment. And while the AriZona logo is featured at the top of the label, the emphasis of “Good Brew” is undoubtedly clear: it appears to be a brand that can to stand out on its own. That said, AriZona is considering the development of 16 oz. glass bottle for Good Brew, though the roll-out of the initial products is 3-6 months away, Vultaggio said.