Longtime partners Nestle Waters North America and Polar Beverage Co. have agreed to an extensive arrangement in which the Worcester, Mass.-based wholesaler will start co-packing a significant portion of NWNA’s water portfolio in cans for distribution along the East Coast.
Called “Polar Strategic Ventures,” the arrangement will launch July 15 across the Eastern U.S. According to a press release, the joint venture will be overseen by Jeff Weston, who is currently the VP/General Manager of NWNA’s regional spring waters business unit. Weston will report to Tim Brown, CEO of NWNA and Ralph Crowley, CEO of Polar Beverages.
While Polar has helped co-pack some NWNA products in the past, this gives the company the opportunity to utilize extensive can manufacturing capacity owned by Polar; that wholesaler has been working to grow in recent years, expanding the presence of its own brands in New York and also buying a manufacturing facility in Georgia.
Cans have become a more important part of the overall packaged water strategy for many brands in recent months, particularly with regard to sparkling beverage types: NWNA-owned Perrier recently debuted a series of canned multi-packs for grocery channels, while category leader Sparkling Ice also released several flavors in 8 oz. “slimcans.” Meanwhile, NWNA’s San Pellegrino brand of flavored sparklers has also launched a pair of new flavors in recent months.