Ice cold beverages are the stock and trade of this company. Doing business as Polar Beverages, Polar Corp. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of fruit-flavored sodas, ginger ale, tonic water, club soda, flavored seltzers, and spring water. It serves more than 25,000 convenience and grocery stores in New England and upstate New York. The beverage maker markets products under its flagship Polar brand. It also bottles and distributes national brands, such as 7UP, A&W, Izze, Gatorade, AriZona, Snapple, and Sunkist. As part of its business, Polar Corp. also offers corporate water services. Privately-owned, Polar Corp. boasts three bottling plants: in New York, Massachusetts, and now Georgia.
Sales and Marketing
Polar Corp. bottles and distributes Polar-brand seltzer, soda, and other drinks. As part of its business, the company bottles and distributes brands owned by Dr Pepper Snapple, such as 7UP, A&W, Sunkist, Crush, RC Cola, Diet Rite, Snapple, Sundrop, and Nantucket Nectars.
Polar Corp. maintains a joint venture agreement with Cott Corporation under the Northeast Retailer Brands name to produce and distribute most of the retailer branded beverages across the Northeast.
In addition to serving New England and upstate New York, the company's beverages are available in limited areas of Ohio, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Polar Corp. in 2011 acquired the Deep South beverage manufacturing plant in Fitzgerald, Georgia, from grocer Winn-Dixie. The facility makes Chek brand carbonated soft drinks, which Polar Corp. continues to supply to the grocery chain under a five-year supply agreement between the two companies. The acquisition furthers Polar Corp.'s southern growth strategy.
Part of Polar Corp.'s business strategy is keeping its finger on the pulse of the industry. Rather than join beverage makers, such as Texas-based Buddha's Brew and its slightly alcoholic Kombucha drink, Polar Corp. has partnered with Frontier Beverage, based in Tennessee, to distribute Unwind, a 100% alcohol-free drink made using calming ingredients, such as melatonin and valerian root.
To capitalize on the popularity of juice drinks and bottled teas, Polar Corp. has introduced two lines of bottled and canned Black Jack and Caribbean teas in recent years, as well as a juice drink called fruit a peel.
Polar is privately-held and family-owned.
The business traces its roots to the the J.G. Bieberbach Company, which was acquired by Dennis Crowley in 1916. It began as a liquor retail and wholesale operation; however, Prohibition, which began in 1919, forced Polar to switch to non-alcoholic products. It introduced ginger ale and spring water, and later, soft drinks to its offerings. After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Polar remained a soft drinks business.