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Buy Alaska!

Buy Alaska Introduces Alaska Brands Group to Membership

buyalaskalogoI stopped by the former Matanuska Maid processing plant location yesterday to find out whether the rumors of machinery humming inside at all hours of the night could be substantiated. The short answer is, yes they can!! My man Greg Galik decided to put his 401K where his mouth is and bought himself the filling equipment from the defunct dairy (Ineed to take a minute here. Its one thing to have a brilliant idea, but to raid one’s own retirement account to make it happen, takes an enormous amount ofconviction and more importantly the gift of gab to convince your significant other that this is a brilliant idea). Apparently Greg has both, because themachinery is in operation and his wife Lynn Allingham is not only a willingparticipant, but also the President of the operation.

Mr discover here. Galik is the founder and former partner in the Marketing/Communications firm Aadlandflint (http://www.aadlandflint.com) and recently re-joined the Alaska Brands Group (http://www.alaskabrandsgroup.com), an Anchorage company he founded, that specializes in the development and marketing of Alaska products. As a long-time Alaskan he’s been around the proverbial block in this state and witnessed economic highs and lows first hand. Greg is a staunch proponent of local buying and advancing the Alaskan economy by boosting local production and penetrating potential markets in the lower 48 and worldwide. Hence the company’s vision of “Building Brands and Penetrating Markets.” (Geniusly clever). He continues to look for ways to not only promote his own companies and interests, but also those of other small, local business owners.

The group’s current project is bringing back Clearly Arctic, a bottled water product originally developed and marketed by Matanuska Maid. According to Lynn, Clearly Arctic built a strong position in the Alaska market between its introduction in 1998 and the closure of the dairy in 2008. At peak production, more than 700,000 bottles of water were sold along the railbelt from the Kenai Peninsula to Fairbanks. Retail locations included major grocery chains, Sam’s Club outlets, military commissaries and convenience stores. Airlines, resorts and other tour providers also made the product available to visitors. Additionally, interest began to grow in lower 48 and Asian markets.

It just so happens that Greg led the development and marketing team that helped Matanuska Maid enter the bottledwater market in the late 1990’s, so the Alaska Brands Group is well acquainted with all phases of Clearly Arctic’s history and sales performance. Thinkingthat the timing was right to get back into the water game, the company acquired the Clearly Arctic brand and much of the water processing and bottling equipment used by Mat Maid from the State of Alaska. Alaska Brands Group has also made significant improvements to its water products, packaging, and manufacturing equipment.
However, the most important change to the product was to upgrade the product source to pristine and glacier-fed Eklutna Lake, of which the water in its natural state is referred to as “glacier milk.”(No, the water in the bottle is clear!) The finished product offers a balance of mineral content, natural ionization, and high alkalinity, which are all beneficial to good health. The composition of thewater in Clearly Arctic is carefully monitored and maintained throughout the processing and bottling process. The product comes packaged with a new updated label design, and in a new ‘Enso’ biodegradable and recyclable plastic container.

How passionate is Greg about buying local?Notice the Buy Alaska logo on the Liter bottle when you pick one up at yournearest Tesoro store, the first of what I am confident will be many distributors of the Clearly Arctic product. Buying Alaska doesn’t get any more clearly defined than this, so if you are looking for a source for your bottled water (or want to add a second one….), or have another venture that Greg and his company may be interested in, why not give Mr. Galik a jingle:  jgreg.galik@alaskabrands.us or 907-561-5223.