Squeezed Nectars

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By the time the "Juice Guys" invited their grandmothers to promote Nantucket Squeezed Nectars on the radio earlier this year, the new line of juice teas and lemonades already had proved to be a sweet story.

"We don't do test marketing, and we don't have focus groups, so I knew we had a success when we could hardly keep up with the supply," says Chris Testa, VP-marketing for Nantucket Nectars.

Mr. Testa, 29, created the marketing department nearly seven years ago for the "Juice Guys," Tom First and Tom Scott, the co-founders of Nantucket Nectars.

To introduce Squeezed Nectars, he relied heavily on sampling and promotions to generate a buzz. In addition, the juices were packaged in wide-mouthed glass jars to distinguish them from the company's other lines.

He says the company has distribution in 40 states and has been growing about 40% per year; he also claims last year's sales were about $80 million vs. the $1.2 million when he came on board. In 1998, Ocean Spray acquired an interest in Nantucket Nectars, but the companies run independently.

"I was able to cut my teeth in Boston," says Mr. Testa. "I used to go hand samples to people and hang a sign over the overpass on highways just to get a buzz going. We were able to make mistakes and have successes in Boston."

Mr. Testa works without an advertising agency to reach his 18-to-34 consumer target. Instead, his in-house team handles everything from events, promotions and in-store marketing to "aggressive use of radio" in 22 markets.

"Sampling is the quicker turn, but the branding that radio creates is great to drive the pull," he says, adding that Nantucket also runs "Buy one, get one" promotions. "If somebody has a competitor's product, we swap it for a new cold bottle of Nantucket Nectars."

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