Sitka water company breaks ground, announces product name

Posted: Wednesday, January 17, 2001

SITKA (AP) -- The Sitka Beverage Corp. broke ground last week for their new water bottling plant and unveiled the name of their product: True.

The company worked with a Los Angeles marketing company on the name. President Bob McDaniel said it was chosen to symbolize the importance of water to life, and the importance of water being as pure as possible.

''True is life. Water is life,'' McDaniel said. ''All people are recognizing that water is the most important element. Water should be in its pure state.''

The company is leasing land from the city and will purchase water from Blue Lake for its bottling operations. The plant will be on the former Alaska Pulp Co. mill site.

The company has a 20-year contract, with options up to 50 years. Sitka Bottling has received a package of financial incentives from the city and borough of Sitka based on the company's plan to create year-round jobs.

Bottling operations may start some time between mid-February and late March.

McDaniel said Sitka Bottling plans to market its water against big-name brands by producing a better-tasting water at a lower price.

He said the company plans to compete initially in the largest, most competitive market: Southern California.

''We'll position ourselves as a premium water,'' he said.

Television ad storyboards unveiled at a Sitka Chamber of Commerce meeting show that the company plans to focus on themes featuring glaciers, snow and snowflakes. But others showed a buxom woman in a cigarette-girl outfit and another driving a dogsled attached to a team of shirtless men.

Company spokesman Todd Saunders said women comprise 70 percent of the bottled water market, with 40 percent between the ages of 20 and 39.

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