LaCroix®Sparkling Water: Helping Americans Discover A Healthier Bubbly Beverage
November 14, 2018
The Ask: Help consumers discover the great taste of making a healthier beverage choice.
The Challenge: Breaking the soda habit of sugar-addicted consumers and introducing an unsweetened, carbonated alternative.
The Solution: Develop a strategy to educate retail dietitians about the brand and provide turn-key consumer nutrition education materials and healthy beverage recipes.
The Approach: Leverage supermarket RDs by creating a monthly e-newsletter; developing a “better beverage toolkit”; and participate in key retail dietitian and health-influencer events throughout the year.
The Better Beverage Opportunity
With the introduction of “soda taxes” sweeping across the country as public health campaigns to reduce childhood obesity and chronic disease rates have gained traction, full-calorie soda sales have dropped 25% in the past twenty years to reach an all-time low (1). This bright spot for public health is an open door for innovative beverage companies, like *LaCroix ® Sparkling Water, who want to be at the forefront of a change in consumer preferences.
*LaCroix ® is a division of National Beverage Corp.
Forward-thinking LaCroix ® recognized that communicating the health benefits of their product directly to consumers is the clear domain of retail supermarket dietitians. In working with the brand early in 2014, my mission was to educate the educators. As a convenient canned healthier alternative to soda, LaCroix ® it is a fun bubbly treat that’s addictive in a healthy way! It was my job to help retail RDs understand the nutritional and health attributes of the product and keep it top of mind for consumers seeking a healthier alternative. Through dietitian-led in-store displays, tasting demonstrations, nutrition shelf-labeling programs, and features in retail AD publications, social media and media appearances, consumers learned that LaCroix ® is a guilt-less pleasure. As the brand continued to gain traction with retail dietitians and consumers, it also caught the attention of the New York Times and was the focus of an article published on March 3, 2015 entitled, Letter of Recommendation: LaCroix Sparkling Water.
Here are some of the ways that I helped Supermarket RDs understand and promote the benefits of LaCroix ®:
- Developed a “Better Beverage Toolkit” for Dietitians/Health Professionals (2018)
- Developed a “Better Beverage Toolkit” for Retail Dietitians (2015)
- Developed recipes for “mocktails”
- Launched a monthly RD newsletter (2014 – 2015).
- Social/Digital nutrition content development
- Introduced RD Trade Events & Conferences to build brand influencers
- Served as a Nutrition Brand Ambassador (2015-2016).
Let’s raise a glass to LaCroix ® for embracing the magic of retail RDs.
Sanger-Katz, M. The Decline of “Big Soda.” New York Times. October 2, 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/04/upshot/soda-industry-struggles-as-consumer-tastes-change.html
Changemaker Barbara Ruhs, MS, RDN, is transforming public health by re-envisioning the way food is understood and promoted. A seasoned supermarket dietitian and former Harvard nutritionist, Barb leads the way by offering innovative retail solutions that forge connections between food marketers, market RDs and consumers hungry for truth.
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