People love sparkling water. Sparkling water is a thing. Therefore, the sparkling water market is getting crowded.
Mexican-made Topo Chico (now owned by Coca-Cola) is dominant throughout Texas, but in Austin, there are five local choices and La Croix ain’t on the menu, much less Perrier.
Big Swig Sparkling Water, Rambler Sparkling Water, Richard’s Sparkling Rainwater, Sway Water and Waterloo Sparkling Water are all the creation of Austin entrepreneurs who recognize the explosive appeal of the fizzy drink.
Personally, I am partial to Rambler, but because Big Swig is “unapologetically Texan, distinctively outrageous and uniquely flavorful sparkling water,” and it comes in a hard-to-look-away-from packaging, I’d like to focus on Big Swig for now.
Big Swig was co-founded by Christian Helms, Sean O’Connor, and Ben Erwin. The men own a beer distributing business together. And Helms is the owner of brand design agency Helms Workshop, which designed the cans.
“We wanted to give consumers a completely new flavor experience in sparkling water, one that complements their Texan palette,” O’Connor said.
With options like Party Pickle, Jalapeño Pineapple, Chile Mango, Prickly Pear Cucumber, Ruby Red Grapefruit and more to choose from, thirsty customers can line up a bevy of “new flavor experiences” all summer long.
In a competitive field that relies on wholesalers for distribution, the Big Swig team has a distinct advantage. “Being seen (on shelf) is really important,” O’Connor admits.
“Having those relationships and making sure you’re in the right aisle, being visible, being one of those guys that’s going to fill it every day and not make extra work for the retailer, that’s all key.”