Tractor Soda Co. expands its organic fountain soda line across the US

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

“We want to be that clean drink solution to people eating out,” Tractor Soda founder Travis Potter told BeverageDaily.
“We want to be that clean drink solution to people eating out,” Tractor Soda founder Travis Potter told BeverageDaily.

Related tags Soft drink

Tractor Soda has announced the nationwide US distribution of its craft soda fountains, through its partner Dot Foods, as the organic fountain soda line has the potential to hit 9,000 retail and restaurant locations by the end of 2016, founder Travis Potter told BeverageDaily.  

The eco-friendly delivery system of a traditional eight-head soda fountain eliminates the waste created by bottled craft sodas. An eight-head tap soda fountain that dispenses soda through a tap apparatus is also available.

Tractor soda offers two soda dispensing formats to customers: a fountain or tap soda machine

Tractor Soda spent three and half years developing the product after noticing an absence of an organic fountain soda in the market. Once it was full developed and available, the company unveiled its soda at the National Restaurant Association show in 2015, where it received way more attention than expected, Potter said.

Since then, Tractor Soda has tested its fountain craft soda in 100 locations, including both small towns and large cities, all of which have been successful.

“Our small towns are sometimes outperforming some of the bigger cities. It’s not whether or not they like it but more of what flavors they like,”​ Potter said.

Conventional to novel flavors

Potter invented all of the soda flavors himself, drawing from his past experience in the food industry where he created over 500 dairy products.

Tractor Soda’s line of eight available flavors are all made from non-GMO,organic ingredients to make flavor combinations such as blood orange with pomegranate and turmeric, cucumber and spirulina, and cherry cream with licorice and nutmeg.

The company also puts a twist on traditional flavors like Cola by adding cinnamon and vanilla, and root beer with sweet birch and wintergreen.

Non-GMO organic slushies are also offered by Tractor Soda, a popular beverage among “blue-collar" guys, Potter said.

An all niche-fit, but mostly adults

While Tractor Soda’s main focus is supplying quick-serve, fast-casual restaurants with its organic soda line, higher-end restaurants are also are reaching out to the company, Potter said.

“We want to be that clean food solution to people eating out,”​ Potter said.

Tractor Soda “fits all niches”​ but specifically the 18 to 42 age group, and its mainly millennials and mothers driving consumer interest, according to Potter.

“The main driver is really moms, because what mom is not going to allow their kid to have an organic cucumber slushy?”

Another consumer audience are adults who have previously sworn off sugary and artificial carbonated drinks, but who are now being drawn to Tractor Soda for its clean ingredient promise, Potter added. The use of real sugar and naturally-occuring organic ingredients helps with satiety, making adult consumers more likely to indulge in Tractor Soda sparingly than a conventional carbonated soft drink.

“We use functional spices and herbs, diet in our world is a ‘four-letter word’,”​ Potter said.

Further adult appeal

To expand on its already popular adult-appeal, Tractor Soda also makes a line of haymaker beverages, also in a fountain-dispensing format, which uses apple cider vinegar in the six-flavor line.

The haymakers are designed to provide some of the purported functional health benefits of vinegar, such as increasing energy and aiding digestion.

“It’s the next big trend, it’s almost beer-esque,”​ Potter said. 

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