Hank’s Gourmet Root Beer is Creamy Goodness
Artisan ‘Philadelphia’ Root Beer, Black Cherry and Cream Sodas Now Available in Over 45 States
When Hank’s Beverage Company first launched in 1996 it was a locals only brand. It sold great and won awards, but was only available in a few Philadelphia Restaurants. Root Beer is like Cheese Steaks there and if yours gets compliments and critical acclaim in Philly… it’s got to be great.
Because besides being the Birthplace of the Constitution, Philadelphia was the birthplace of Root Beer. Yes Virginia…there was a Dr. Charles Elmer Hires and he made the first Root Beer in the same neighborhood where Hank’s Beverages first launched.
Now over 15 years later Hank’s Gourmet Sodas is the Philadelphia favorite and are now available in at least 45 states with a full line that includes Root Beer, Diet Root Beer, Vanilla Cream, Wishniak Black Cherry, Orange Cream and Birch Beer.
Bill Dunman, founding partner and general manager for Hank’s, entered the beverage business as a non-alcohol beverage distributor in Maryland and after meeting his current partners John Salvatore, Frank Salvatore, and Tony Salvatore who owned L&M Beverage in northeast Philadelphia, Dunman went to work running the non-alcohol side of the the Salvatore family’s beer distributorship.
Dunman’s division, L&M Specialty, sold spring waters, juices and New Age products. “The one thing we were missing was a branded bottled root beer,” says Dunman, general manager and an owner of Hank’s Beverage Co. “All of us collectively had wanted to go into manufacturing, so we thought premium root beer would be the way to go. Since root beer has been around for 100 years, we had a local need for that type of product.”
Hank’s added more flavors, reaching as many as 10 soda flavors at one point, but the six flavors became more manageable as they grew their distribution network. After conquering Philadelphia, the lineup expanded through the East Coast and grew nationally.
Made with Pure Cane Sugar without Caffeine or High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hank’s Beverages now has distribution across the country and their Gourmet Root Beer makes up 41% of sales, and is the leading flavor for Hank’s in volume through all accounts in the United States. Black Cherry, Orange Cream and Vanilla Cream have an equal share at close to 15 percent.
Hank’s Classic Birch Beer, a Northeast regional flavor, is gaining popularity in other areas of the country and their Diet Root Beer sells well in supermarkets, especially in upscale markets.
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