When you ask the founders of Rambler Sparkling Water where their inspiration for the name Rambler came from, the answer might surprise you. The name wasn’t born out of a focus group in a conference room of a marketing agency. It means something deeper to co-founders James Moody, Jeff Trucksess and Dave Mead. To them, Rambler has a spiritual meaning.
With self-aware smiles, Moody, Trucksess and Mead admit that they are ultimately earnest in their belief that “Rambler” taps into a deeper spirit that poets, songwriters and philosophers have been musing about for decades.
“If you Google the word you will find songwriters all over the world writing about rambling, ramblers, how to ramble. Bob Seger, Merle Haggard, the Allman Brothers – there is a never ending list of people talking about not knowing what’s next, getting on the road and seeing what happens,” says Moody.
So how does a love of the rambling spirit translate into a sparkling water brand? Over the tenure of a long friendship, Mead and Moody watched the people in their lives start to turn away from sodas and gravitate towards sparkling water. A universal shift, they believe, toward a lifestyle increasingly focused on wellness.
Moody recalls, “In the eighties [in America] sparkling water was celebratory; fancy water. But around the world agua con gas, or bubbly water, was the standard drink at lunch or dinner. But we were drinking Coke in America.” It was only natural, therefore, that once Americans started to wise up to the sugar and chemicals hiding in their sodas, sparkling water took hold.
There were several successful sparkling water brands already established, but Moody and Mead saw the white space. Though they had made the shift from soda to sparkling water themselves, there were no brands that spoke to them. From there, the idea for Rambler was born. Rambler is sparkling water made the Texas way: inspired by and made from the clear waters of this great state.
For Mead, the rambling spirit is in his DNA. He recalls “traveling around the state with our parents and vacationing in the far reaches. We wanted the water to capture the authentic taste of those Texas summer memories.”
So, how do you capture the taste of Texas? You use Texas, water, of course.
But Texas water is a scarce resource in this drought-prone environment so ultimately, partnering with Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation and choosing sustainable water sources were natural decisions for a brand like Rambler. “To use Texas water, you have to be a good steward of the environment which means using a wide variety of sustainable sources across the state instead of one sensitive source. So we knew we had to build a better filtration system to safely create water at scale in Texas.” says Moody.
This proprietary filtration system is what gives the water its signature crisp, mineral taste that is so reminiscent of Texas. “The water we see [in Texas] is crystal clear because it is filtered through limestone, and we wanted to figure out how to replicate that in our filtration system,” adds Moody. All Rambler water is triple filtered, once through reverse osmosis, then via UV, and finally through their proprietary Texas limestone filtration process that remineralizes the water and infuses it with the signature Rambler taste, without the need to add sodium or flavoring.
Mead explains, “Underneath the fruity flavors, most sparkling waters don’t taste like anything. But our base water has flavor already because we mineralize in a way that tastes uniquely like Texas.” And that’s what it’s all about for the Austin-based company. Rambler’s true Texas flavor and true Texas roots are a refreshing twist on an industry built upon a dichotomy: either offering the promise of a far-away European glacier spring or ambiguous flavor without the calories. Rambler is a real testament to the natural beauty of this great state and to the spirit upon which the name is based. And at the end of the day, that’s the real message the co-founders set out to share. To pack up the cooler, the family and a few friends, get out there and get Ramblin’.