O.N.E. Counting Down to PepsiCo Distribution

Coconut water to be available through Pepsi system by end of July

LOS ANGELES -- Starting in June, O.N.E. Natural Experience is preparing to roll out its brand of coconut water fully into the Pepsi system, founders Rodrigo Veloso confirmed for BevNet.com. The move means O.N.E. will be leaving behind all independent direct-store delivery (DSD) and broker operations except for Manhattan Beer in New York City and UNFI for the natural channel, where the O.N.E. sales and marketing team will still have control.

By the end of July, Veloso expects O.N.E. to be available via Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo in about two-thirds of the country, he said, [image-nocss] with a concentration on the coasts and in the Midwest. Supplied by three new factories, one in Indonesia and two in the Philippines, the product will be all organic, he said.

The move comes at the same time that one competitor, Vita Coco, has confirmed it is making larger moves into the Dr Pepper Snapple distribution system in several regions including the Chicago area, to the point where it, too, dropped all key New York distributors but longtime partner Exclusive in Manhattan, BevNEt said. Meanwhile, ZICO is getting national authorizations like Target and CVS, and has shifted to Odwalla and Coke trucks in a few areas, but has yet to move fully into the network of minority owner Coca-Cola, the report added.

O.N.E.'s move will put nearly all of its current coconut water SKUs into the Pepsi system, including side brands O.N.E. Active and O.N.E. Kids, the report said, but it is putting a hold on three of its other functional products, one based on cashews, one with acai and one with coffeeberry.

"We want the team focused on the coconut water expansion," Veloso told the industry publication.

O.N.E. has remained fairly quiet in the four months following the company's December takeover by PepsiCo and Catterton Partners, which left PepsiCo the largest shareholder and founders Rodrigo Veloso and Emilie Fritz Veloso as a minority.

O.N.E. Natural Experience is the beverage company established in 2005 by Rodrigo Veloso. O.N.E. drinks are packaged in environmentally friendly Tetra Pak cartons. It is available in more than 18,000 retail outlets including Whole Foods, Publix, Kroger Stores, Safeway, 7-Eleven, Cost Plus World Markets, Vitamin Shoppe and on Amazon.com, the company said.