Helping veterans through vodka sales?
Better Brands Beverage Co. – a company dedicated to donating part of the proceeds from the sales of Salute American vodka to charities that assist U.S. military veterans – expanded its market into Arkansas at the end of March.
In fact, Arkansas was the third market into which Better Brands has expanded since the company launched in January – the Chicago-based company launched first in Missouri and Illinois. Better Beverage Founder and Chief Executive Officer Pete Kelly said the company has plans to expand nationwide but started in “middle America” where there’s a lot of support for both quality, American-made products and veterans’ causes. Kelly said Salute American vodka will be released in Indiana this month and in Georgia in May.
Kelly, a 20-year veteran of the marketing industry, said he was inspired by Newman’s Own when coming up with a plan to raise money for veterans’ causes. For the record, Newman’s Own had given over $300 million to charities from the company’s start in 1982 through 2010.
Kelly said each 750ml bottle of Salute American sells for about $20 in Arkansas and $1 of each sale will go toward veterans’ causes.
“We think consumers will support us,” he said. “We know it’s going to be tough. We could have made the claim that we’re going to donate money when we were profitable … but consumers want to know where the money is going.”
Where will that money be spent in Arkansas? Kelly said the company will commit $10,000 to the Farmer Veteran Coalition, which works with military veterans in 48 states to find careers in agriculture. That donation, Kelly said, will place an intern on Across the Creek Farm in West Fork (Washington County) – an Arkansas business founded by Terrell “Spence” Spencer, who served two tours in Iraq with the Army.
Spencer, in a news release, described the gift from Better Brands as a “game changer for a young veteran family.”
Kelly said the $1-per-bottle donation is permanent – as long as the brand is sold, the donations will be made. Within three years, he said Salute American vodka will be available nationally if Better Brands’ plans are realized.
Where can Salute American be purchased in Arkansas. In addition to it being available at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Kelly said you’ll find it at liquor stores, grocery stores and bars in the Natural State. To find out if it is available near you, go to SaluteAmerican.com/availability and search to see if it’s sold in your area.
What will you get when you buy a bottle of Salute American? We’ll leave it to the marketing wizards at Better Brands to describe their product:
Salute Vodka is pure American from start to finish. The vodka, which was approved for the USA Certified™ Seal, is made from corn and wheat grains straight from the heartland. It’s then four times distilled for a smooth and sweet taste that works well mixed or neat. The canteen-shaped bottle bearing the red, white and blue, was manufactured in Park Hills, Missouri, by Piramal, and distilled and bottled at Lidestri Spirits in Rochester, NY.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.