With ORIGIN, Nestle Takes Poland Spring National in Premium Play

Betting that one of its top regional spring water brands can make an impact on a national level, Nestlé Waters North America is launching Poland Spring ORIGIN as a premium-positioned sub-line.

Announced last Wednesday, ORIGIN gives NWNA a high performing brand — over $900 million in sales across PET, jug and sparkling formats last year, according to data from IRI — with which to enter the premium water category,

Speaking with BevNET on Tuesday, NWNA Vice President and chief marketing officer Yumiko Clevenger-Lee said the decision to launch ORIGIN was due to consumer demand for the Maine-based brand, which is sold in five states in the Northeast. According to internal research, purchase intent for Poland Spring was the same outside the region as it was inside.

“We have for years been hearing from consumers all across the U.S. who maybe at one time lived in New York or passed through the Northeast asking for how they can get access to Poland Spring water,” she said. “Outside of the Northeast, the brand has high awareness in the U.S.”

In entering the premium water segment with ORIGIN, Poland Spring will step into a cooler space populated with imported natural spring waters and products enhanced functional callouts, such as alkalinity or added electrolytes. Poland Spring ORIGIN will share some of those attributes — it contains naturally occurring electrolytes, for example — but Clevenger-Lee noted that the product is designed to connect with consumers from an “emotional perspective” as well.

“The premium still water usage occasion is very different (than regular still water),” she said. “It is really focused for consumers more on badge value. Consumers believe that what kind of water bottle you are carrying around, whether it’s a reusable bottle or a certain brand, represents who they are.”

With the water itself coming from the same source as Poland Spring’s existing products, the “premium” aspects of ORIGIN center primarily around that emotional appeal. That includes callouts to sourcing and sustainability; The 900mL ergonomic bottle features “Made by Maine” embossed on one side, with “100% Recycled Bottle” on the other.

Poland Spring ORIGIN is currently available in 12-packs on Amazon and through Nestle’s ReadyRefresh home delivery program. Starting this month, the line will enter select retail locations in Florida and Texas ahead of national expansion next year. The suggested retail price for the 12-packs is 19.99, while single bottles will be available in convenience retailers for $2.29 and vary in other channels.

Framing the launch of ORIGIN within NWNA’s larger strategic goals, Clevenger-Lee said it was part of the company’s efforts to create “brands with an emotional connection to our consumers.” That means new innovations — such as last year’s introduction of sparkling water SKUs for NWNA’s six regional waters brands or the launch of Essenza flavored mineral waters under the S. Pellegrino brand — and promoting sustainability, but within the context of existing trademarks.

“I think consumers are giving us permission to stretch these brands in ways that we’ve never taken the risk of before,” she said. “That’s what I’m most excited about — leveraging the power that is buried in these brands and to bring that to the forefront before we feel the need to chase and create new brands. I believe in the power of our portfolio today.”