Isklar – a star is born

deane-ingram.jpgThere’s a bright new star in Britain’s drinks fixtures – Isklar Glacial Natural Mineral Water, just introduced from Norway. Deane Ingram is Isklar’s UK Country Manager, the man charged with bringing the vision to life. Deane spoke to The Grocery Trader. “Isklar is a completely new global brand,” Deane explains. “The name is Norwegian for ice-clear: Isklar is exceptionally pure water, extremely light in mineral content, from a glacier topped up each year with fresh snow.”

The Isklar concept has been four years in development, says Deane. The visionary behind it is former Pepsico executive, Norwegian-born Peter Krogh: “Peter developed the Isklar concept and created the striking pack design in conjunction with the Blue Marlin design company, and now we’re introducing it to the market.”

Taking on the big brands needs substantial support. Isklar’s backers are a Norwegian entrepreneur who owns a significant part of Scandinavian logistics giants SeaTrans and SeaCargo, and Sabco, the Oman-based conglomerate company with significant interests in bottled water for over 20 years.

Isklar stands out on the water fixture with its exceptional bottle design, branding and its purity, delivering just 32mg of dry residue per litre versus over 300mg for the market leader. The result is a clean tasting, refreshing water with no mineral after taste.

“Low sodium is an important factor for today’s health-conscious consumers; Isklar has, we believe, the lowest sodium content of all mainstream brands.”

Isklar has a dedicated national account team serving the multiple retailers. Distribution to the multiples is through SeaCargo, with other sales and distribution through Jenks.

“Consumer sales so far have been excellent,” says Deane, “even before the start of the TV support this month (June.) We’re very pleased with our progress, with one buyer going so far as to describe rate of sale in her outlets as exceptional. We’re in Waitrose and Morrison’s; we’re about to go into Sainsbury’s; and we’re talking to the other supermarkets, Co-ops and c-store chains.”

Isklar’s production facility is the largest bottled water operation in Scandinavia and the company has everything in place to meet the anticipated demand from the UK and elsewhere.

“As an ex-Nestlé Water person,” says Deane, “it’s clear to see that Isklar has the potential to become a leading UK and international brand. Working on Isklar is very exciting and a great privilege. It’s been thrilling to develop a brand from scratch and come up with something that’s been a big hit in research with consumers in Europe, the US and the UK, and I’m pleased to say we have a fantastic success on our hands.”