It all began in 1992 with two hardworking guys from Brooklyn selling beer out of an old van. An expert in the beverage business cautioned these two entrepreneurs that, “you can’t sell iced tea in a can.” They didn’t listen.
Today, Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons sells more AriZona beverages in cans—and bottles—than any other premium ready-to-drink iced tea company in the United States. Still growing at over 25 percent annually, the company accounts for a large portion of the growth in the ready-to-drink category. And they’ve done it while still managing to stay family-operated and privately-held.
The AriZona strategy is remarkably simple to explain: Create great looking products of the highest quality that people will like AND can afford to buy.
In the early 90’s Arizona Chairman, Don Vultaggio, was in the beer business, producing malt liquor. Sales were brisk, but not nearly as brisk as the “new age” beverages that Vultaggio saw flying off shelves.
Thus, AriZona was born. The company offered value in a pricey category—among many things, the owners decided to print a 99-cent price on a 23-ounce can so retailers couldn’t jack up the price. But they didn’t just offer low-price, AriZona also made high-quality products—they are all naturally heat pasteurized, so they don’t have to add in chemical preservatives. To top it off, AriZona sold it’s iced teas in vividly designed cans and bottles that were different than anything else in stores.