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Six Barrel Soda Co. is growing its presence in Hong Kong and the US, hot on the heels of expanding its export markets to include Canada just before the Covid-19 lockdown.

The craft soda company’s syrups are in more than 500 retail outlets, bars, and restaurants around New Zealand.  While 90% of its NZ hospitality customers were closed during Levels 4 and 3, the focus on takeaway drinks is boosting sales during Level 2.  Joe Slater (pictured), Founder of Six Barrel Soda, says this local support, combined with a growing presence overseas is helping the company through the Covid-19 response.

“We shipped a large order to Hong Kong during the Lockdown, have launched our website in the US, and are now stocked on Amazon.  We’re also expanding our presence in a range of Harvey Norman stores across Australia.

“Here in New Zealand, the call to support local has been fantastic for our online store. With everyone at home during Lockdown, lots of people got creative with their drink making (which we are perfect for), and we had our best month online. It was very surprising, but gratefully appreciated, to soften the blow with wholesale accounts being closed,” says Slater.

The company’s first Auckland Store is also officially open, after a short few days in operation before Lockdown began.

“We are excited to grow Six Barrel’s presence in our largest market – it’s always been a goal to open a physical store in Auckland to complement our factory in Wellington. We want to offer something unique and create a fun place for people to try our sodas, which includes experimental drinks and flavours – perfect for times like this when we’re all looking for a bit of an escape,” says Slater.

Partnering with Electric Chicken, Six Barrel’s Auckland store is at 309 K’Rd. It features unique drinks including Smoke Cola Everyday (made with smoked cola) and the Mermade.  The Mermade features Butterfly Pea – known for its calming properties the flower is blue but turns purple when mixed with citrus; the soda also comes with a side of fairy floss.

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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