Polar Beverages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Polar Beverages
TypePrivately held company
HeadquartersWorcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
Key people
Ralph Crowley Jr.
Christopher Crowley
James (Jeff) Crowley
David Crowley
ProductsPolar Seltzers, Sodas and Mixers
BrandsAdirondack Beverages
Polar Seltzer
Cape Cod Dry

Polar Beverages is a soft drink company based in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a manufacturer and distributor of sparkling fruit beverages, seltzer, ginger ale, drink mixers, and spring water to customers in the United States. It is the largest independent soft-drink bottler in the United States.[1]

It markets beverages under its flagship brand, Polar Beverages, and under the brands Adirondack Beverages, Polar Seltzer, and Cape Cod Dry. In addition to its own drinks, Polar bottles and distributes national brands for companies such as Keurig Dr Pepper. The company has two bottling plants and six distribution facilities; it also offers corporate water services and beverage vending equipment.[2]

It is a fourth-generation, family-owned business that traces its roots to 1882;[3] and is run by Ralph Crowley Jr.,[4] the great-grandson of founder Dennis M. Crowley.


Polar was founded by Ralph’s great-grandfather, Dennis Mark Crowley. The business began in the 1880s as the J. G. Bieberbach Company, a liquor company. In 1916, the company took on the Polar name, but Prohibition brought about a fundamental change. Polar stopped selling whiskey and began selling carbonated beverages like waters, ginger ales and drys.[4]


Polar Beverages prides themselves on seltzers and drinks flavored with real fruit and ingredients. Every year the company uses an in-house drink mixologist to create 5 limited edition varieties at two separate times of year to always incorporate new flavors to keep the brand fresh. [5]

Partnership with Keurig[edit]

Polar has recently partnered up with Keurig Dr Pepper to expand their products that have gained a large following in the Northeast and expanding them to markets across the nation. The deal allows the Crowley family to still own the company but also direct access to Keurig's delivery to store method and marketing network. Polar's actions with this partnership show their overall willingness to grow into a national product for consumers across the nation.[6]

Marketing Strategies[edit]

Polar's marketing team monitors drink and cocktail catalogs to keep their company ahead of the game and relevant. Monitoring social media also allows Polar to be involved with their most consistent customer base which mainly college students and young adults. Polar wants to be a young and fun brand that will attract these young customers for years to come. [7]


Orson the Bear

A polar bear named Orson has been the company's mascot since 1902.[8] Next to the company's billboard near I-290 in Worcester, there is a large inflatable version of Orson, which can be seen smiling and "waving" to passersby. The oversized bear is tied down by wire, to keep the bear in place during rough weather, and to prevent theft. Orson has sometimes been stolen by local fraternities as a prank.[9]

Conflict with Coca-Cola[edit]

In 1994, Polar made a TV commercial where a polar bear considers drinking a Coca-Cola, but throws it into a recycling bin marked, "Keep the Arctic pure." The polar bear then reaches down into the freezing Arctic water and pulls out a can of Polar Seltzer and drinks from it contentedly.[10] Coca-Cola filed a motion for an injunction against Polar in United States District Court in Boston, contending that the commercial made Coke's product appear impure.[11]

The court granted Coca-Cola's motion because the commercial "implied that Coke [was] not pure" and misrepresented the nature and quality of Coke, thereby potentially harming the soft drink irreparably.[10] The injunction required Polar to revise the ad. According to Polar, the judge's ruling affirmed the right of Polar to use a polar bear in its ads, but limited them from discarding the Coke can.[11]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Staff Writer (July 30, 2020). "Keurig Dr Pepper and Polar Beverages Enter into Long-Term Franchise Agreement for Polar Seltzer" (Press release). prnewswire.com. Retrieved April 18, 2021. Keurig Dr Pepper and Polar Beverages jointly announced today that they entered into a long-term franchise agreement that will provide national distribution to Polar Seltzer sparkling seltzer waters, including Polar Seltzer'ade and SeltzerJR, across all channels through the power of KDP's direct store delivery (DSD) and manufacturing network.


  1. ^ "Top 25 Bottlers Report 2007" Archived May 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Hoover's Company Profiles". Hoovers.com. 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  3. ^ "History". Polarbev.com. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  4. ^ a b "The cult of Polar Seltzer: Why one brand of carbonated water has New Englanders obsessed | Boston.com". www.boston.com. Retrieved 2021-07-16.
  5. ^ "A sparkling new era for time-tested Polar Seltzer". Polar Beverages. 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2021-12-02.
  6. ^ "Polar Beverages goes nationwide in blockbuster deal with Keurig Dr Pepper - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 2021-12-02.
  7. ^ "A sparkling new era for time-tested Polar Seltzer". Polar Beverages. 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2021-12-02.
  8. ^ "The Polar Bear That Has Coke Steaming". Businessweek. 1995-01-15. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  9. ^ "Goliath: Business knowledge on Demand". Goliath.ecnext.com. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  10. ^ a b Cocaine-Cola, the Velvet Elvis, and Anti-Barbie: Defending the Trademark and Publicity Rights to Cultural Icons. Steven M. Cordero. Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, 1998
  11. ^ a b "Ruling Revises Polar Bear Ad". New York Times. 1995-01-03. Retrieved 2012-06-12.

External links[edit]