HOLLAND, Mich -- Boxed Water is Better, at least according to the carton, but consumers seem to agree.
The start-up company, founded in Grand Rapids in 2009, announced this week the uniquely packaged boxed water would now be sold in 450 Target stores across the country.
This week's launch marks the largest ever for the company with a single vendor, according to Chris Radford, director of operations.
“It’s exciting for us to be available to more of the masses," Radford said. "Being a start-up company, one of the biggest challenges is getting distribution and getting the product in the hands of people who really want to drink it."
Radford said more than 4,000 boxes of waters were already sold through Target stores in the first week, and the company is on pace to quadruple sales this year.
“If you look at the product, it kind of introduces itself to the customer and we have a lot of people who go ‘oh, why didn’t I think of that," Radford said. "The paper versus plastic proposition is just huge for us."
The unique and environmentally friendly approach to packaging has resonated with consumers, according to Radford. The paper boxes, instead of bottles, are filled at the company's 11,000 sq. foot facility in Holland. The plant's summer shift started a month and a half early this year to keep pace with demand and a third shift could soon be added, which could mean an additional 4-5 employees.
"If you look just at our local footprint, when I got started in 2012 we really had two employees," he said. "Today we’ve got 10 employees working in the Holland facility.”
The company currently employs 35 people across the country. Radford said Boxed Water will also add a second 22,000 sq. foot filling facility in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Boxed Water is currently available at more than 6,000 stores across the country, as well as in Australia, Canada and Mexico.
Because the company is privately held, Radford declined to go into specifics on sales figures but said Boxed Water is looking to be a $100 million company in the next five years. Radford also added the company is committed to Michigan and keeping its corporate headquarters in Grand Rapids.