La Croix Sparkling Water
|Manufacturer||National Beverage Corporation|
|Country of origin||La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States|
LaCroix or La Croix (//;) is an American carbonated water distributed by National Beverage Corporation. Sales records have never been publicly released, but market research suggests La Croix holds a 30 percent market share in sparkling water sales in the United States, double that of its main competitor, Perrier.
In 1981 the G. Heileman Brewing Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin, introduced LaCroix as one of the first "Anti-Perrier" brands. Meant to appeal to sparkling water consumers who were put off by Perrier's "snobbish positioning", LaCroix marketed to its niche by imaging itself as an "all occasion" beverage.
The beverage fared well in popularity and sales in the surrounding Midwest region for the following decade. By 1992, the brand was estimated to be worth US$25 million. However, in the same year, due to Heileman's admitted lack of experience outside the beer market, it sold the brand to National Beverage (then Winterbrook).
Since the early 1990s, LaCroix has been a fairly well-known product in the Midwest. Its sudden rise in popularity outside of the Midwest United States, however, has only been a recent phenomenon.
In 2002, National Beverage sought to rebrand LaCroix and ended up settling on the design that was "least favored by management" but won over target consumers in a "landslide". Instead of staying with the clean and simple designs like other water brands, they found that a more bold and colorful approach was more appealing to their audience. The "successful execution of the “anti-Perrier” strategy, in all its forms, has been a key factor enabling LaCroix to become one of the top sparkling water brands.
In spring of 2015, with sugary soda sales plummeting to a 30-year low in the US, National Beverage saw an opportunity to expand their consumer base, subsequently launching a marketing campaign for the beverage on social media, specifically targeting millennials. Their marketing efforts have since helped position LaCroix with mainstream news outlets as a healthier alternative to sugary soda, as well as a mixer for popular cocktails.
The company's billionaire CEO, Nick Caporella, was accused of sexual harassment by two former employee pilots who alleged inappropriate touching on more than 30 trips between 2014 and 2016. One lawsuit was settled out of court in January 2018, and one was still pending as of July 2018. Caporella has denied the claims and remains as CEO.
In October 2018 a class action lawsuit was filed by Chicago law firm Beaumont Costales regarding the "all natural" branding, claiming that La Croix uses synthetic ingredients including ethyl butanoate, limonene and linalool propionate, which are in fact all commonly occurring compounds in natural sources. The company responded that "all the flavor essences in LaCroix are natural."
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- Lian, Liz (2016-09-19). "14 Delicious Cocktails Made with LaCroix Sparkling Water". Kitchn. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
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- Shoot, Brittany (2018-07-03) Fortune Magazine, 3 July 2018. CEO Behind LaCroix Brand Accused of Inappropriately Touching Airplane Pilots.
- Maloney, Jennifer; Maremont, Mark, Wall Street Journal, 3 July 2018. Billionaire Behind LaCroix Accused of Improper Touching by Two Pilots
- Founders Hold On Tight Even When Investors Really Want Them Gone Jef Feeley, Jeff Green, and Anders Melin, Bloomberg, July 26, 2018,
- BEAUMONT COSTALES FILES CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST LACROIX WATER October 1, 2018
- Is sparkling water like LaCroix actually good for you? Here's what experts say ASHLEY MAY, USA TODAY, 2018/10/08
- Lawsuit Accuses LaCroix Seltzer of Containing Artificial Ingredients Used in Cockroach Insecticide Gina Martinez, TIME magazine, October 6, 2018
- LaCroix faces suit alleging it mislabeled its sparkling water as natural CNBC, Laura Galligan, 5 October 2018
- LaCroix maker slams ‘professional liars’ behind new lawsuit challenging its all-natural credentials Elaine Watson, Food Navigator, 4 February 2019