SALISBURY, N.C. -- Dan Martin, former group director of field sales at PepsiCo, recently joined Cheerwine, a major regional soft drink, as the brand's vice president of sales/Liberator Foodservice. Martin brings extensive national account sales experience to Cheerwine and will be leading the brand on its mission to be available in all 50 states by its 100th anniversary in 2017.
He will be responsible for sales and distribution with the goal of expanding Cheerwine's brand presence across all foodservice channels.
"Dan brings a wealth of experience to our company along with the passion to truly 'liberate' Cheerwine in some exciting ways," said Tom Barbitta, senior vice president of marketing and sales.
In other company news, in a step toward meeting that 50-state goal, Cheerwine recently introduced a four-pack of 12-ounce sleek cans launching in California for initial distribution on the West Coast.
The soft drink from the brand distributed primarily in the South has a loyal following of southern fans, many of whom have relocated to other parts of the United States. West Coasters will be the first to try the new four-pack, which contain Cheerwine's original real-cane-sugar formula packaged in contemporary 12-ounce aluminum slim-line cans.
A real legend of the South, Cheerwine is a 95-year-old brand that has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations.
"We see many new trends in the beverage industry seeding in the west and moving quickly east. Our innovative packaging and vintage real-cane-sugar formula will resonate with consumers, many of whom will be introduced to the Cheerwine brand through this package, which is designed to break through the 'sameness' in soft drinks," said Barbitta."This regionally limited launch will be a testing ground for Cheerwine as we continue to grow nationally, which is something we know our dedicated fans are excited to see happen."
Produced in Modesto, Calif., by Seven-Up Bottling Co., the sleek cans will be available at traditional food and specialty retail. The four-pack has a suggested retail price ranging between $3.99 and $4.99.
Owned and distributed by the Carolina Beverage Corp., Salisbury, N.C., the 95-year-old company is still privately owned and managed by the same founding family,four generations of whom have worked there.