While Red Bull was already an established brand and booming trend in Europe in the late 1990s, it was virtually unknown in the U.S. After all, Red Bull was introduced in Europe in 1986 but it wasn’t until 1997 that Red Bull North America was founded and began its Red Bull distribution on this side of the ocean.
At the same time that Red Bull was opening its first U.S. office in California, Jim Rubenstein, President of James Edward and Companies, Inc., the management company for Matador Distributing, LLC, Chaparral, LLC and Viva Distributing, LLC, was working as a broker of leading brands in the beverage and food industry.
Jim was intrigued by the “Red Bull phenomenon” that was taking over Europe. He was sure that in America, like Europe, it would become more than just a popular drink—it was going to emerge as one of the fastest-growing trends in the U.S. market. Jim had been in the beverage industry for over 20 years and had never seen a brand quite like Red Bull; it was amazing to him that one product could support the entire brand and still experience continued growth.
Jim wanted to be a part of this unique brand and saw it as a great opportunity. So in 1997, he wrote to Red Bull and asked to broker their product in the U.S. through the food and beverage brokerage company he was managing at the time. In response to his letter Red Bull North America contacted Jim. Red Bull was looking for independent distributors, not brokers. They also wanted someone who would solely distribute Red Bull. In other words, Jim’s current business did not fit the bill. If he wanted to be a part of the Red Bull brand, he would have to start an entirely new company that would meet their requirements. Still convinced of Red Bull’s potential, Jim and his partners mobilized into action. Fortunately, our biggest challenge is also our most rewarding one—the need to keep pace with our exponential growth.
We proudly represent and distribute the Red Bull brand and will continue to help Red Bull surpass their competition and remain the #1 category leader for energy drinks. We have fun doing what we do because we believe in the brand. And we know that consumers believe in the brand too—which makes doing business even better.