Talking Rain Beverage Company: Adding Sparkle to your Water
The only thing better than finding naturally flavored sparkling water in 16 delicious flavors is finding this incredibly delightful drink from Talking Rain Beverage Co. everywhere! In the past few years, Sparkling Ice has single-handedly brought this company to the top of the charts in the bottled water industry.
What is so surprising about this incredible news is that in 2010, Talking Rain was may have been on the verge of bankruptcy. The team that accomplished this tremendous turnaround was led by the owners and strategic sales team. They hoped that if they put the company’s remaining resources behind the longshot, Sparkling Ice, they could go national and hopefully recoup some of their loses.
Talking Rain, Shifting How We Drink Water
Carbonated flavored water had been rising in popularity with the “health trend” in the Northwest since 1992. Talking Rain was ready to take the risk to make some alterations in the taste and packaging, so the new sparkling water was perfected and ready to go to the distributors. In less than three years, everything changed!
The dark horse, Sparkling Ice, rescued the entire company from going under, and the numbers proved it: revenue went from $25 million in 2010 to $60 million in 2011 to $148 million in 2012. This was an increase of over 140 percent in two years. Sparkling Ice was now available in every state and attributing to over 95 percent of the company’s revenue to the innovatively delicious and refreshing sparkling water!
Talking Rain wisely capitalized on the global recall of Pierre Water in 1990. Sparkling Ice took the downed Pierre company’s shelf space in Costco in California and BJ’sin New Jersey. After spending $1 million on advertising in these two stores, the rest is amazing history for Talking Rain and Sparkling Ice!
With a strategic sales team behind them, Sparkling Ice began taking those valuable shelves in national chains such as Kroger, Costco and Sam’s. Sparkling Ice was quenching the thirst of the active public at a growing rate.
One of those shining stars on the sales team was former U.S. Navy veteran and Central Washington University graduate, Chris Hall. Chris first joined Talking Rain in 2007 as a Human Resources Assistant but quickly transitioned over to the sales team where he held positions including Market Manager and Regional Sales Manager and VP of Sales. As VP of Sales, Chris helped the company achieve its goal to have 100% DSD coverage and distribution. In 2018, after ten years with the company, Hall was appointed to Chief Executive Officer. He has since then helped the company achieve a record-breaking sales period, with over 15 million cases of Sparkling Ice shipped throughout the US through June, July, and August 2018.
In April 2019, Talking Rain Beverage Co. announced that the Q1 sales numbers for Sparkling Ice® beverages were at an all-time high, making it the number one brand in the sparkling water category. The brand leads the category with record sales of $123.7 million for the 13-week period ending March 24, 2019, based on IRI measured US multi-outlet plus convenience sales (MULO C) data. Sparkling Ice closed out the 13-week period ending March 24, 2019, up 22.3% in volume from the same period in 2018. This equates to over $20M in sales growth in the period.
Talking Rain Beverage Co. is located in Preston, WA, just outside of the Seattle metropolitan area. The company has around 350 full-time employees. The headquarters contains a 50,000 square foot plant, an 80,000 square foot warehouse, and an on-site workout facility for employees. The facilities are located near the Preston—Snoqualmie trailer, which is popular with runners and walkers.
Talking Rain and a Sparkling Future
In addition to Sparkling Ice, the company still produces its heritage brand, Talking Rain Sparkling Water, which is a naturally flavored sparkling water with zero calories, zero sweeteners and zero sodium.