Mike Cessario Liquid Death 2023

Cessario founded Liquid Death in 2019 after working in marketing for the likes of Netflix, Nike, Toyota and Nestlé

Liquid Death is “100%” open to sourcing water for its products in the UK in the future, according to its CEO.

Mike Cessario told The Grocer the healthy beverage brand had initially chosen to source from Austria because “there was not a single bottler who could put spring water in cans” in the US when it started in 2019.

It subsequently moved US sourcing to Virginia after discovering a spring with “almost identical water quality” to the one in Austria.

Asked if this meant Liquid Death could look to shift production to the UK in the future, Cessario said: “One hundred per cent. And that really is our long-term vision.

“We’re constantly looking for more high-quality sources of water that we can use in more places so that we don’t have to ship things as far,” he added.

Liquid Death’s team subsequently contacted The Grocer to emphasise its desire to produce in market was “very much a long-term goal, and no decisions are made or imminent”.

The brand has just launched into 700 Tesco stores nationwide, weeks after making its brick-and-mortar bow in Nisa and Co-op.

Liquid Death elected to list its flavoured sparkling variants in the retailer as part a strategy to build as “a beverage company, not just a water company”, Cessario said.

“It’s not just plain still water in a can. It’s our flavoured sparkling which is like a healthy soda as well,” he said. “We want to see what the reaction from the UK market is like.”

Liquid Death will retail at £5.50 per 4x500ml pack in Tesco, and from £1.99 per single can SKU in Nisa and Co-op. Cessario defended its premium positioning, highlighting the importance of brand building over “small functional differences”.

“When you have a true brand, you transcend kind of those small functional benefits and it becomes a very different value proposition for the consumer,” he added.

Cessario said Liquid Death could bring its iced tea and other flavoured water variants over to the UK in the future, but poured cold water on the suggestion it could look to move into energy drinks or alcohol.

“We probably wouldn’t jump into the energy drink category with products that have something like 300mg of caffeine in them,” he said. “And we probably would never get into alcohol as a brand. Our focus is on better for you and healthy beverages.”