Purple Beverage Co. has hired a former director at Red Bull North America as its vice president for on-trade sales.

The soft drinks company, which produces its namesake antioxidant juice, said yesterday (24 March) that Keith Riley will take on the role with Purple, heading up the launch of an on-trade marketing campaign across the US.

Purple Beverage founder and CEO Ted Farnsworth said: "Having been responsible for 18% of the total US business and achieving an average growth rate of 30% a year for Red Bull, Keith is an industry pro whom we are thrilled to have on our team. As one of the founders of the US on-premise strategy for Red Bull, he practically wrote the book on how to develop and execute a successful on-premise marketing approach, opening up the bar and nightclub industry to branded cocktail mixers."

Riley added: "Purple is one of the hottest brands going right now, and is already showing signs of being to the healthful beverage industry what Red Bull is to the energy drink sector."

Riley, who managed national accounts and co-managed expansion from 10 to 50 states while with Red Bull, also previously worked for Bacardi USA, managing its promotional marketing team and on-trade promotions in the San Francisco Bay area.

Purple retails at US$2.99 for a 10oz bottle and can be found in health food stores, restaurants, delis, drug stores, supermarkets and convenience stores in select locations, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Hawaii.

Purple Beverage recently signed a distribution agreement with Crosset Co. to secure the placement of its Purple drinks brand across the Midwest of the US as well as Haralambos Beverage Co. in an effort to get its brand in outlets in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.