Move Over Coca-Cola, La Croix Is Taking Over

La Croix

Source: La Croix

LaCroix Sparkling Water has been on store shelves for over 30 years, but people are only recently starting to take note. In fact, there are probably quite a few readers reading this who still have never heard of the French-sounding beverage. Years ago at one of Washington state’s biggest fun runs, the company handed out six packs of the stuff to runners without much impact. But the Florida company’s patience using the “if you build it, they will come” mentality has finally paid off. While sales of the cola giants have gone down from 2010 to 2014 (Coke went down 4% and Pepsi 5.5%), LaCroix’s sales, a National Beverage Corporation company, shot up 67% nearly tripling its sales since 2009. So what gives? There are a variety of theories.

While Coke has touted for centuries to be “the real thing,” LaCroix really is. It’s nothing more than water, carbon dioxide and natural flavors. Like Diet Coke, it has no calories, but is also doesn’t contain sodium or fake sweeteners. “Consumers still like bubbles, they want carbonation, but they want it in a healthier product,” said Gary Hemphill in an interview for the Washington Post. He’s the managing director of research for Beverage Marketing Corporation which is an industry consulting firm. “Those products really fit where the consumer wants to be.”

Another theory to the big sales is the LaCroix’s coolness factor. You would never know that the bubbly is a sibling to the “uncool” Faygo, Crystal Bay and Shasta product lines. It is also easy to think that the beverage has been imported from France, but it was first made in Wisconsin before moving to Florida. Some believe that LaCroix has been the latest “cool” drink because of its relative obscurity. “With millennials these days, it’s all about authenticity and discovery, and they are suspicious of mainstream advertising messages,” says Duane Stanford, the editor of industry publication Beverage Digest.”Millennials see [LaCroix] as a discovery — something only they know about and their friends know about since it’s not in their face all the time.”

Instead of traditional marking, LaCroix chose to put their marketing dollars into packing design. Up until recently, it would have been easy to miss the product among the myriad of carbonated fare found on local grocery store’s long aisles. Today though, the beverage’s rainbow-colored boxes are starting to take notice. The company has also shied away from traditional advertising unlike Shasta’s previous campaigns. (Anyone old enough to remember, “Don’t give me that so-so soda, the same old cola, I wanna rock ‘n rolla, I want a pop, pop, pop, I want a Shasta.”?) Instead, they have invested time and money into social media. The beverage’s Facebook page boasts over 210,000 “likes,” 5,600+ followers on Twitter and over 23,000 followers on Instagram. LaCroix’s own website feature’s unrelated promotions such as the recent “Critter Costume Photo Contest,” special recipes, tailgating ideas and even a partnership with the Whole 30 program.

Finally, LaCroix offers a few flavors not usually found on soda isles such as coconut, peach-pear, mango, passion fruit, apricot and the new cola substitute, Nicola, Lacola.

La Croix Nutritional Value

Source: La Croix

La Croix Flavors

Source: La Croix