Just five years ago, Sparkling ICE was a $10m brand hardly anyone outside of the Pacific Northwest had even heard of. Today it's worth well over $500m at retail and has a fighting chance of reaching its well-publicized target of $1bn in retail sales in 2018, assuming it can secure the shelf space it deserves, said Kevin Klock, CEO of brand owner Talking Rain.
The brand's meteoric rise also serves as a reminder that while premium, natural and organic products have their place, a lot of consumers are just looking for simple, tasty, affordable refreshment on the go without empty calories, he said.
And the presence of a few artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners (Sparkling ICE contains synthetic colors, sucralose, potassium benzoate and EDTA) is not going to send these consumers running for the hills.
“Look at the beverage brands that are growing: Red Bull, Monster, Mountain Dew Kickstart and Frappuccino [none of which are marketed on a natural, organic, or even clean-label platform]. From our standpoint we’re focused on refreshment.”