Joe Heron, president and chief executive officer of Crispin Hard Cider Co., says the Minneapolis-based company is not your traditional cider company. Whether it’s the company’s use of unpasteurized fresh-pressed juice or its historic and pop culture references in the names of its products, Crispin is seeking a point of differentiation in the hard cider market.
Although this is Heron’s first experience with running an alcohol cider company, he is not new to the beverage market. Heron and his wife owned the nutrient-enhanced soft drink Nutrisoda before selling the brand to PepsiAmericas in 2006. However, Heron’s inspiration to enter the cider market came from his interest in market space in terms of innovation and imagery, he says. Heron explains the intrigue started when a friend told him that in Europe more and more people were beginning to enjoy cider while drinking it over ice.