Big River Industries announced a new branding initiative to showcase the company’s expanded clay lightweight aggregate spanning six applications, including horticulture/landscape, storm water management, masonry, concrete, geotechnical, and asphalt. The initiative features a new brand name called Riverlite, which is being implemented to consolidate three previous brands, Gravelite, Livlite, and Arkalite.

“Current growth shifts led us to the decision to incorporate our three previous brands into a new, unified brand trademark,” said Jeff Speck, vice president of sales and marketing for Big River Industries.

Part of Oldcastle Architectural since 1987, the company began in 1954 with the production of Gravelite, a rotary kiln expanded clay lightweight aggregate produced near Baton Rouge, La. In 1984, a second expanded clay lightweight aggregate, Livlite, was added with the acquisition of the Tombigbee Lightweight Aggregate Company in Livingston, Ala. Growth continued in 2005 when the company purchased its Arkalite plant near West Memphis, Ark., making Big River Industries the nation’s largest producer of expanded clay lightweight aggregate. Today, Big River’s annual production capacity exceeds 2.5 million cubic yards.

Each of the facilities is purposely located on a river, allowing for barge shipments to customers in other states and regions. From inception, the intentional proximity to the rivers led to the company name of Big River Industries. The company namesake combined with the lightweight characteristic of its aggregate products incited the new Riverlite brand name. 

The consolidation of the former three brands to Riverlite was based upon market research involving an evaluation of the construction, engineering and other relative industries in the Southeast and Midwest, where Big River’s products are distributed. “The new Riverlite designation signifies the quality of the expanded clay lightweight aggregates we offer, and the logistical benefits the rivers afford us,” said Speck.

A marketing campaign is being executed to communicate information about the new brand and the products that come under its auspices. The promotion is intended to make the information easy to access for contractors, landscapers, urban planners, storm water management professionals, engineers, and architects. Elements of the campaign will include a new logo, advertisements, tradeshow signage, website enhancements, and a press campaign.

Big River’s lightweight aggregates are used in a variety of landscape and horticulture projects such as integrated with organic matter to create living soils for horticulture uses and used as part of manufactured media for self-contained storm water systems. Given the aggregates’ lightweight characteristic, they are also widely used on green roofs and rooftop gardens where structural load considerations are prevalent. Conversely, the aggregates are used in concrete products including concrete masonry units and structural lightweight concrete for buildings and highway bridge decks. Other applications include precast / prestressed concrete, skid-resistant asphalt paving, geotechnical fill, and specialty products such as adhered manufactured stone masonry veneers.


Photo: Big River Industries’ HydRocks with Riverlite aggregate installed in a commercial landscape at the Chicago City Hall to prevent soil compaction and provide superior drainage and air space for stormwater runoff.