La Croix Sparkling Water
|Manufacturer||National Beverage Corp.|
|Country of origin||La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States|
|Flavor||Pure (Unflavored), Berry, Cran-Raspberry, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Passion Fruit, Apricot, Mango, Pamplemousse (Grapefruit), Lemon-Lime, Coconut, Peach-Pear, Tangerine, Key Lime, Pomme-Baya (Apple-Cranberry), Cerise Limón (Cherry Lemon), Melón Pomelo (Melon Grapefruit), Kiwi Sandía (Kiwi Watermelon), Piña Fraise (Pineapple Strawberry), Mure Pepino (Cucumber Blackberry), NiCola (Cola)|
Though no sales records have been publicly released to back this claim, market research suggests La Croix holds a 30% market share in sparkling water sales in the United States, double that of its main competitor, Perrier.
LaCroix was introduced in 1981 by G. Heileman Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin 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 and by 1992, the brand was estimated to be worth $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; however, its sudden rise in popularity outside of the Midwest United States 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 light of sugary soda sales plummeting to a 30-year low in the U.S. in spring of 2015, National Beverage saw an opportunity at an open market of consumers and subsequently launched a marketing campaign for the beverage on social media, specifically targeting millennials. Since early 2015, LaCroix became the trend of various 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 is still pending as of July 2018.
- "Sales are exploding for this little-known soda brand with a cult following". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- Kosman, Josh (2015-12-04). "'Sparkling' LaCroix sales drive acquisition talk". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- "LaCroix Sparking Water | Meridian Associates Inc. Success Story". www.meridianai.com. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- "Buyer Sparkles Over Lacroix Deal". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- "The Surprising Reason Everyone is Suddenly Obsessed with LaCroix". Country Living. 2016-06-21. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- Halpern, Ashlea (January 24, 2017). "The Secret History of the LaCroix Label". BonAppetit.com. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
- "LaCroix Sparking Water | Meridian Associates Inc. Success Story". Meridian Associates. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
- "Soda Consumption Falls to 30-Year Low In The U.S." Fortune. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- "14 Delicious Cocktails Made with LaCroix Sparkling Water". Kitchn. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- Nelson, Libby (2016-06-20). "Why LaCroix sparkling water is suddenly everywhere". Vox. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- Choi, Mary H. K. (2015-03-03). "Letter of Recommendation: LaCroix Sparkling Water". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- CEO Behind LaCroix Brand Accused of Inappropriately Touching Airplane Pilots BRITTANY SHOOT, Fortune Magazine, July 3, 2018
- Billionaire Behind LaCroix Accused of Improper Touching by Two Pilots Jennifer Maloney and Mark Maremont, Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2018
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