Anheuser-Busch to distribute Icelandic Glacial Water

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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ST. LOUIS — Anheuser-Busch, Inc. is now the master distributor for Icelandic Water Holdings ehf’s Icelandic Glacial super-premium natural spring water in the United States.

As a part of the agreement, Anheuser-Busch has taken 20% equity interest in Icelandic Water Holdings. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Our business landscape is changing, and we are looking for opportunities outside the alcohol beverage category to fuel additional growth for our company and our wholesalers," said August A. Busch IV, president and chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. "We believe Icelandic Glacial natural spring water has tremendous potential in the United States when combined with the strength of our distribution network."

The agreement will give Icelandic Glacial access to consumers through Anheuser-Busch’s network and will provide Anheuser-Busch distributors with a product to complete in the bottled water market in the United States, which is valued at nearly $11 billion.

Icelandic Water Holdings plans to build a new 70,000-square-foot bottling facility in Hlidarendi, Iceland. The natural spring water first was introduced in the United States in November 2005. The transition to Anheuser-Busch’s distribution will begin immediately in markets such as California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and will expand nationwide in 2008.

Icelandic Water Holdings will still oversee sales and marketing for the brand in the United States, and Anheuser-Busch wholesalers will distribute the water in 500-ml, 750-ml sports-cap, 1-liter PET bottles and 500-ml PET bottle six-packs.

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