BevNet: Icelandic Glacial Expands Distribution, Plans To Launch Flavored SKUs

Premium bottled water brand Icelandic Glacial yesterday announced a major distribution expansion at grocery, foodservice and convenience store. The news comes after double-digital growth in sales of the brand over the past year.

Icelandic Glacial recently landed new distribution at The Ingles Markets, Shaw’s, Homeland Stores, Kum & Go, Love’s Travel Stops, Yesway, and ampm, according to the company. CEO Reza Mirza told BevNET that added placement builds upon a retail footprint that continues to expand, particularly in the grocery channel.

“Overall, we’re at 19 ACV (all commodity volume) [in grocery],” Mirza said. “We have a long way to go, but I look at that as opportunity.”

Mirza expects the brand’s recently debuted 0.5 L PET package for its sparkling variety to drive growth in grocery and convenience, noting that the product has been gaining traction at ampm. Meanwhile, Icelandic Glacial’s glass bottle offerings, introduced in 2016, have been a booming success for the company in hotels and restaurants. Mirza stated that nearly all of the brand’s glass bottles are sold for on-premise consumption and that foodservice sales are up 60 percent over the past year. Glass bottles have “exceeded our wildest expectations,” he said.

The brand is seeing similar growth off-premise: dollar sales of Icelandic Glacial water were up 50 percent in measured accounts over a 52-week period ending on April 8, 2017, according to market research firm Nielsen.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, which owns just under 20 percent of Icelandic Glacial, is the master distributor for the brand in the U.S. The products are also carried by Dora’s Naturals in metro New York and by UNFI and KeHe for distribution in the natural channel.

Icelandic Glacial intends to build upon traction for its sparkling waters with the launch of new flavored varieties in the second half of 2017. Mirza believes that sparkling will be a springboard for additional innovation and drive the company’s vision of becoming a “full-service beverage company for all your bottled water needs.”

The new products are expected to launch on the heels of a new ad campaign called “Pure Authenticity” which promotes the purity and source of Icelandic Glacial water. The campaign was designed to build consumer awareness about the origin of the water and its natural alkalinity.

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