Like many parents today, Heather McDowell wants to feed her son as healthy as possible. With such easy access to sugary treats and drinks, it is a hard feat for any modern parent. But instead of fighting the battle daily, Heather decided to do something about it. She started Tickle Water to give her son and other children access to a tasty, bubbly — and more importantly — zero sugar beverage.
Drinking Tickle Water is a completely guilt-free experience. Not only is there no sugar and no calories, but it is free from preservatives, gluten, GMOs, sodium, and artificial sweeteners. It comes in four flavors: Natural, Grape, Apple, and the most popular, Watermelon. Though Tickle Water was originally intended to get children drinking more water, it has found fans among all ages. In fact, twenty-somethings and beyond are reaching for Tickle Water to use a mixer for cocktails. Not a surprise, Tickle Water has become the sparkling beverage for kids of all ages.
Hit the Ground Running
Started in May 2016, Tickle Water hit the ground at a brisk pace. Just in the past year alone, Tickle Water has already been stocked on the shelves of 350 retail locations in the Tri-state region, including Fairway Market, Kings, and Total Wines. Expansion into Florida is on the near horizon and a 5th flavor is on the way. Tickle Water was featured on The View as a part of Whoopi Goldberg’s “Favorite Things” segment and they have partnered with Nike and SoulCycle to sample product at their events.
Sampling Heavy Strategy
Speaking of sampling, Tickle Water knows how important it is to get product into the hands of consumers. The brand has invested heavily into product giveaways, presence at street fans, and sampling events in NY and select cities in Florida. Armed with a team of brand ambassadors, this summer you may see Tickle Water offering free rides around the Hamptons with tablet-enabled carts stocked with samples.
Unique Can Design
Marketing to kids, glass bottles were out of the question. The 8 oz. size can was chosen for little hands to comfortably grasp. And to emphasize the purity of the beverage, a completely recyclable, plastic see-through can was the ideal option. Each bottle features a signature character design — a French Bulldog for Natural, a fox for Grape, and so on. Both kids and adults are reaching for cans based on their favorite flavor and favorite character.
Working with IBC
With aggressive plans for growth and expansion, Heather knew she needed expert counsel to guide her through the next phase. Tickle Water’s National Sales manager, Andy Stallone, a beverage industry veteran, referred Heather to Intercontinental Beverage Capital’s Chairman of the Board, John Carson, and Bill Hayde, Co-Founder and Executive Vice-President. Since Tickle Water is Heather’s first entrée into the beverage industry, she turned to IBC’s experienced team to help navigate through the uncharted territory. Through regular advisory sessions, IBC has helped Tickle Water establish business objectives, make strategic introductions to expand retail presence, and provide guidance for optimizing distribution and packaging operations.
“It is impressive the progress Heather McDowell has made in such a short time to turn Tickle Water into a successful brand. It speaks to industry readiness for this type of product, the clever packaging, and smart marketing,” said Carson.
Since working with IBC, Heather has said, “IBC brings so much expertise to the table and are extremely knowledgeable about this business. I can trust what they are saying, I can share openly, and they help reign me in. They provide invaluable advice about what to expect and how to gauge our progress. Starting a beverage brand is a long journey so I am excited to have IBC to turn to for advice.”
No matter if you want to put Tickle Water in a lunchbox or in a cocktail, it is a crowd pleaser for all. To find Tickle Water at a store near you, use their store locator or order online on Amazon, Tal Depot, and Salacious Drinks.