Analysis: Inside the Waterloo Tidal Wave
Waterloo has not yet met its Waterloo. In fact, it’s making more like early season Napoleon, conquering territory and building the empire.
We saw some movement in last month’s Nielsen survey that left us pretty interested in the ways that the brand, which sold a majority interest to investor group Eurazeo Brands, Flexis Capital, and Moore Strategic Ventures back in 2020, has solidified its momentum. Waterloo has hit about $150 million at retail, and is growing faster than any significantly-sized sparkling water brand, up 56% over the past year and 223% in the four-year stack, with Nielsen numbers dating back from July 29, according to the survey provided by Bonnie Herzog of Goldman Sachs Equity Research.
The only brand in that growth neighborhood is Spindrift ($188 million, up 30% in the past year and 230% in the past four), although both Polar and Talking Rain have each enjoyed strong 4-year arcs. The point is, that kind of growth takes money and it takes strategy, and on what turned out to be the three-year anniversary of their acquisition by the investor group, we had a quick talk with CEO Jason Shiver and CMO Kathy Maurella to find out what’s driving the growth.
“In three years, we’ve just about tripled our business,” Shiver started off by saying. “I think it’s kind of a really cool soundbite… the investors are very happy.”
With the first investment, Maurella said, the brand devoted money to buying research, adding Nielsen and a brand tracker to look at household penetration and loyalty. The numbers they like? “We have the fastest growing number of households buying the brand,” against the rest of their competitive set, Maurella said and “the incredible news is our loyalty continues to grow as we do this.”