Hal’s Beverage, the seltzer water brand that is distributed exclusively in the New York City metro area by powerhouse beverage supplier Big Geyser, has announced a ginger ale as its first product line extension.
Hal’s, named after company founder Irving Hershkowitz, father of Big Geyser President and CEO Lewis Hershkowitz, launched in 2014 as the distributor’s first venture into beverage manufacturing. The brand’s seven fruit-flavored SKUs are sold exclusively through the company’s distribution network in New York City and neighboring Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Putnam Counties.
Hal’s Ginger Ale will be sold in 20 oz. plastic bottles in two varieties: Original, which contains 21 grams of pure cane sugar per serving, and a zero-calorie Diet version, which is sweetened by sucralose. Big Geyser is pricing 24-pack cases of Hal’s Ginger Ale at $16.50 for retailers.
Speaking with BevNET, Big Geyser COO Jerry Reda explained that launching the ginger ale was another way in which the company could leverage its extensive distribution network within the New York City area.
“Many of our customers said ‘I’m switching over exclusively to your 20 oz. seltzer, but I still have to have [a different vendor’s] truck stop by because I still buy ginger ale from them. It would be great if I could buy ginger ale from you, and I could eliminate a vendor,’” Reda said, adding that the cross-merchandising and cross-promotional opportunities for ginger ale and seltzer, particularly in gas and convenience store channels, was also appealing.
Hayley Diamond, Brand Manager for Hal’s Beverage, added: “With the launch of the ginger ale, I think we are going to see a lot more stores go exclusive with the Hal’s brand.”
Reda said that he was reluctant to talk in terms of volume, but “the volume of Hal’s is far greater than many brands that have been in our portfolio that are owned by much larger companies for five or ten or more years.” He estimated the brand was growing “anywhere from 35 to 40 percent each month.”
Hershkowitz also said that the debut of Hal’s Ginger Ale will not have an immediate effect on product availability, as Big Geyser plans to continue building the brand in New York before entertaining the idea of entering other markets.
“Our strategy from day one has been if you build it in New York, people will come to you,” he said.