Set fizzers to stun: A UK-based seltzer water subscription service bubbles into the US

Ugly Drinks has made a bubbly splash in an untapped UK seltzer-market, as it now looks to take on LaCroix in the States after moving to the US in May.


September 5, 2018

Fizzy-water sensation, LaCroix, has long reigned supreme as the ultimate bubble beverage in the United states.

But now, there’s an exchange student in town from London — and its social media-minded business model is starting to look pret-ty sexy to American millennials addicted to carbonation.

It’s called Ugly Drinks, and it’s hitting your Visa cards faster than you can find the 3-digit code on the back.

Give us the ugly deets

Ugly launched in the UK in August 2017 and made its way to the States last May. Aside from Whole Foods shelves and other major UK supermarkets, the brand has an e-commerce subscription service of $23 per 24-pack.

A bubbly subscription service seems like a no-brainer — but as Quartz notes, LaCroix “doesn’t distribute widely outside the US.” So aside from the occasional Pellegrino, most Europeans turn to mineral water for all of their carbonated needs.

In other words, Ugly’s seltzer-subscription service is a bold move.

But, if anyone knows how to make waves in an untapped market…

Ugly’s co-founders, Hugh Thomas and Joe Benn, both worked as heads of marketing and sales for Vita Coco several years ago, and under their marketing strategy, brought coconut water from obscurity in the UK to national fame.

And it looks like they could do it with Ugly as well: So far, Ugly’s sales in the UK have doubled since last April, and they have upwards of 1k subscribers in the US since moving only 4 months ago.

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