PARKERS Beverage Company is a locally owned and operated independent beverage company based in the sunny Hawke's Bay. We have a vast portfolio of brands that brings a range of products to the market, from pure New Zealand Artesian water to delicious flavoured oat milk in a can. Our ever popular coconut water and our innovative new probiotic drinks including Hop Pop and a sparkling Biotic Soda and so much more!
At PARKERS we try to support the local economy as much as we can. This includes trying to source all of our ingredients and packaging from New Zealand. We also have a commitment to be as eco friendly as possible. We have worked hard over the years to ensure our packaging is as environmentally friendly as we can make it. We are continually working on this and evolving as a company.
As PARKERS continues to grow, our team is consistently increasing. we are very grateful and appreciative of everyone in our team. We wouldn't be able to create amazing new products and continue to grow as a brand with out the help from them.
How PARKERS Beverage Company came to be
PARKERS Beverage Company as its known today was conceptualised in 2014 by Doug and Holly Speedy and Campbell Johnstone. The thought process behind the business was, New Zealand and specifically Hawkes Bay has some of the purest water in the world yet when in your travels you see multiple brands from Fiji, Norway and France. The thought was why not introduce a brand from New Zealand. This is how ‘Aquifer HB’ started with our O PURE Brand. The initial target market was West Coast USA, to this day PARKERS has never sent anything to West Coast USA !
‘PARKERS” always wanted to be a vertically integrated company with its own production. To create a product and test the market, pilot bottling equipment was imported from the UK and we leased a tiny shed with a water bottling consent. Unfortunately this pilot gear did not work properly and the manufacturer in the UK went under so we had no recourse and were left with a lemon. Without testing the concept fully we had to make the decision to continue at a large scale or stop. At the time there was tremendous interest in water from New Zealand particularly China so the decision was made to go for it. At this time we decided to buy the land and buildings at our current site at 38 Whakatu Road. We invested in a PET (plastic bottles) bottling line and a bag in box line. The bag in box line was to produce our famous 10L water products.
While a lot of our interest and business was coming from China, we made the decision that we actually had to build a local market presence. Our first real customer in New Zealand was Progressive Enterprises, Countdown. This was for our 10L O PURE bag in box in Countdowns nationwide today.
O PURE bottled water operates at the premium end of the market, this meant we were excluded from other parts of the market. It was at this point we created our second brand ‘PARKERS’.
The name PARKERS was developed and executed within an hour…..It was going to be called ‘Elwoods’ as we were on Elwood Road at the time. However Mrs Speedy thought PARKERS sounded better and we agreed. We wanted a simple and elegant design that was efficient to brand. Hence it was black and white and used off the shelf fonts. Therefore we could print materials efficiently on site.
PARKERS Water quickly became very popular in the New Zealand market, selling in hundreds of stores. This formed the start of the relationship with ‘Foodstuffs’. At the same time we met an Aloe Vera manufacturer at a international trade show and we decided to import these drinks and distribute to our NZ customers. This was our first entry into non water products. This product ‘Pure Plus’ served us very well until Covid 19 arrived and the 300% increase in shipping costs unfortunately made this unviable for us to continue
By this time, our team of 3 people had grown to 4 in Hawkes Bay with the addition of our first full time employee. We went on to hire sales staff to represent our products in the NZ market. As we were baring the cost of full time sales staff, we thought we should extend our product offering. Because we thought water was a summer item, we thought we would try and add something to concentrate on in winter. Sticking true to our provenance story, we formed a relationship with The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia and started our 1835 Coffee brand and also with the Tea Association in China and created our tea brand ATTIC (All The Tea In China). This wasn’t a huge success…..
After a small while we were selling a lot of Parkers water, had other brands and administration was a bit messy, so we decided to pull everything together under the PARKERS Beverage Company umbrella. Our hugely successful brand Cocofuel was added and we started making beer (co-packed) under our Deco City brand. We were also the first company in NZ to can wine under our Devine brand which was a rather painful experiment…
Our change in focus to what we have essentially became today started 2.5 years ago. We did not see the future in mass producing plastic bottles and even though it was nearly 50% of our revenue we decided to completely stop this production and take out our bottling line. The desire was to focus on more meaningful products that are better for the environment and greatly reduce waste. In 2019 we started with the apple juice products you can now find nationwide. As we had bag in box technology and now the installation of pasteurisation equipment we started with our 2L bag in box. This product was deemed the best non alcoholic product in NZ, a big achievement. Apple juice is now a large part of Parkers business selling in all major retailers and many cafes.
Covid 19 was not particularly kind to Food and Beverage businesses and Parkers was no exception. In some weeks our revenue was up to 90% down. Brutal. We took this time to focus on the future of our company. While a bold and brazen move, we have recently installed a new bottling line, a new high speed canning line a retort to process low acid foods such as coffee or alternative milks. If that wasn’t enough we have added a fermentation facility and also upgraded our apple juicing mill.
With covid restrictions ending and all the new production equipment we are excited about the future of Parkers with many new products and opportunities.