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In Pictures: Icebergs captured off Newfoundland for making vodka

Iceberg Vodka needed an image makeover to face international competition

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Iceberg Vodka Co. is a Toronto-based distiller that makes vodka with water melted from icebergs the company harvests off Newfoundland’s coast. It began as a novelty product in 1996 that originally sold about 10,000 cases a year. But sales began to shrink with the proliferation of international vodkas made in a range of flavours. It needed a marketing makeover.

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Workers scout icebergs off Newfoundland. The company says the pure water – frozen since before the days of man-made pollution – makes the resulting vodka ultra-smooth.

Iceberg Vodka

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Iceberg harvesters use nets to collect chunks of ice. For the company to stay afloat, “the vodka itself didn’t need to change, but its marketing needed immediate help,” says David Meyers, a Canadian who spent most of his career managing international rum and cognac brands and joined Iceberg Vodka 18 months ago as its chief executive officer.

Iceberg Vodka

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The company launched a sassy campaign on social media to resonate with younger buyers. It also refocused on the United States, where per-capita vodka sales are almost double those in Canada. And Iceberg’s product team developed unique flavours: cucumber, crème brûlée and chocolate mint.

Iceberg Vodka

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The bottle was redesigned to look as if it were carved from a block of ice. The company’s promotional efforts and new flavours have resulted in a jump in sales, Mr. Meyers says – 20 per cent in Ontario since the relaunch last fall. “Nationally, I thought if we can sell 500 cases of flavoured vodka we would do well. We sold that in the first month and we’re getting reorders,” Mr. Meyers says.

Iceberg Vodka

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