Two West Coast companies are joining forces to introduce Sparkling ICE to Canadians. Sun Rype, a Kelowna-based manufacturer and distributor of beverages and snacks, will become Sparkling ICE’s exclusive Canadian distributor. Through Sun Rype’s network, the Washington-based flavored water brand gains access to Canadian grocery, drug, and convenience channels. Both organizations have described this arrangement as a strong strategic fit that makes sense for their respective companies.
Kevin Klock, CEO of Talking Rain Beverage Co., parent company for Sparkling ICE says:
“Canada is a critical first step in our strategic plan to make Sparkling ICE an international brand, and we are thrilled to find a partner like SunRype who aligns seamlessly with our brand message and goals. We are confident that Sparkling ICE’s brand proposition of bold flavors and zero calories, combined with a best-in-class distribution partner like SunRype, will spell success in Canada.”
Dave McAnerney, CEO of Sun-Rype Products Ltd. explains why this will become a successful joint venture:
“In the highly competitive Canadian beverage market, we are seeing a real trend toward zero calorie, lightly carbonated beverages.”
After securing a strong position in the domestic U.S market, expanding into Canada marks a logical next step in Sparkling ICE’s evolution. With so many similarities between the two countries, making Sparkling ICE available in Canada certainly solidifies their North American presence. Another question that may have to be decided is whether the brand makes its entire product line available in Canada. Beyond 11 flavored of zero-calorie water, the brand also offers 6 lemonade options and 3 iced tea options. As Klock suggests, this would only be the first step toward building up Sparkling ICE as an international success. In order to make Canada a true success they should make all products available. Let consumers vote with their wallets and decide what flavor and product they prefer. Like many other markets, Canadians would prefer zero-calorie beverage options so long as taste and value are not marginalized. If Sparkling ICE is truly success in Canada, it gives the company a successful launch case study to implement across other markets.
For Sun Rype, distributing Sparkling ICE makes perfect sense. The Kelowna-based company is well-respected and already brings healthy beverages and snacks to Canadian retailers. Their product assortment gives them experience in dealing with retailers across multiple healthy food & beverages categories, from juices to portable snacks. Having another healthy refreshment in their portfolio to offer retailers doesn’t hurt, especially one that has phenomenal year-over-year sales results to support it. Sparkling ICE is a brand that has won recognition as a best new product, and has seen substantial sales growth in the U.S. the past few years. Selling it to retailers should be less challenging than selling other products that have less awareness or public recognition.
It’ll be interesting to see what Sun Rype and Talking Rain do to bring Sparkling ICE to Canadian retailers and consumers alike. Success for the zero-calorie flavored water brand in Canada may not be a question of “if” but a matter of “when.” Their future success hinges on the support that both organizations provide. With both organizations suggesting the arrangement to provide strategic benefits, you can bet that Talking Rain and Sun Rype will be paying alot of attention to ensure Sparkling ICE wins in Canada.