CHICAGO — The wide variety of beverage types and styles coming to retail was evident in the number of new drinks that gained distribution and space on store shelves during the first quarter of 2019. Here's a look at 11 brands that grew their footprint ...
Hudson News Distributors will distribute Illy North America's Illy Ready to Drink Coffee to its retail network in the Northeast market. The coffee, made from 100% Arabica beans, is all-natural with no preservatives, added colors or flavors and is sweetened with non-GMO beet sugar. The drinks come in 6.8-ounce cans in Cappuccino, Caffe Latte and Mochaccino. The Hudson News Distributors network includes 14 warehouses, 400 delivery trucks and 2,000 merchandisers. It serves 15,000 retail stores, including regional grocery chains, convenience stores, national retailers (such as CVS Pharmacy, Target and others), airport retailers and more than 2,400 independents.
Alkaline Water Co. has also entered into a retail services agreement with several new distributors.
In Paramus, N.J., the bottled-water company is working with E.A. Berg Associates to expand its retail reach, specifically its presence within the convenience-store sector. Under the agreement, E.A. Berg will assist the company in obtaining expanded retail presence for its flagship Alkaline88 premium bottled alkaline drinking water within the c-store channel across several territories. The agreement involves 22 E.A. Berg retail sales representatives selling Alkaline88 to c-stores located across Northern California, Southern California and the Texas cities of Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.
San Jose, Calif.-based Pitco Foods has added Alkaline88 to more than 12,000 retail stores across Northern California and Reno, Nev., the company said, through Alkaline Water Co.'s Van Program.
And Whole Foods has added Alkaline88’s 1-gallon size in 107 Whole Foods stores across the United States, according to the Austin, Texas-based company.
Hydration drink Hoist is expanding its Midwest presence with retail deals in the Midwest and Southeast. Holiday StationStores, Cub Foods, two divisions of Kroger, and Roundy’s Pick ‘n Save and Mariano’s store brands have added the beverage, according to the Cincinnati-based drink maker.
“We’ve seen great success in the Wisconsin and Minnesota region through our partnership with Kwik Trip and are excited to take things to the next level,” said Alice Hanser, regional sales manager at Hoist.
Hoist has partnered with Anheuser-Busch distributor Capitol Beverage Sales throughout Minnesota and Webb & Gerritsen throughout Wisconsin and the Chicago area to stock Hoist at the retailers mentioned above. Kroger will add Hoist in its Cincinnati and Atlanta divisions beginning in April, the company said.
4. a2 Milk
The a2 Milk Co. has expanded sales agreements with supermarket chains Kroger and Albertsons/Safeway. These additions complete the company’s goal of achieving national geographic distribution in the U.S. market. A2 Milk branded products began appearing on the shelves of Kroger and Albertsons/Safeway stores in February, bringing the company’s total distribution to approximately 12,400 outlets operated by 80 major grocers across the country. The a2 Milk Co., Boulder, Colo., will now seek to further extend its geographic reach into other parts of the United States, including the Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest and Midwest, as well as throughout its more established markets in California, the Northeast and the Southeast.
The a2 Milk Co. works with local U.S. dairy farmers to identify cows that naturally produce the A2 protein type and process their milk separately, making it possible for some with sensitivities to A1 protein to enjoy real cows’ milk.
Celsius Holdings Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., has secured several new distribution agreements for its fitness drink Celsius with distribution partners in the Anheuser-Busch InBev, Keurig Dr Pepper, MillerCoors and PepsiCo networks. Through these new partnerships, Celsius has expanded within the independent Anheuser-Busch wholesaler network with new agreements with Pepin Distributing, Hensley Beverage Co., Great Bay Distributors, Double Eagle Distributing, Ed F. Davis and Tri-City Beverage, bringing the company's distribution agreements within this wholesaler network to six.
The company's expansion into the Keurig Dr Pepper independent network includes four independent wholesalers within their network—Carolina Beverage, Piedmont Beverage, Quality Beverage and Choice Beverage USA—securing complete direct-store distribution coverage in North Carolina and South Carolina. In addition, the company added LDF Sales & Distribution and DET, both independent wholesalers in the MillerCoors network and independent wholesaler All Brands Distribution. The company also is working with Bernicks Inc., which is part of the PepsiCo network.
6. Kona Gold
Kona Gold Solutions Inc. entered several new distribution deals that will expand the reach of its energy drinks across several regions of the United States. The expansion includes agreements with Kelly Distributing in Illinois, MJ Distro in New York and McLain Distribution in Tennessee. The company also announced a distribution agreement with Kentucky Eagle and convenience-store chain Huck’s, which operates 120 locations in five states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee. And the company added Clayton Distributing as a distribution partner. The distributor operates out of an 18,000-square-foot warehouse in Atlanta and services more than 2,000 accounts in 13 counties. Its customer base includes convenience stores, grocery outlets and specialty shops.
Kona Gold Solutions is a hemp and CBD lifestyle brand focused on product development in the functional-beverage sector. It produces Kona Gold Hemp Energy Drinks and HighDrate CBD Energy Waters.
7. Zest Tea
Zest Tea is using a recent $1 million investment in the company to extend the reach of its energy drinks across the mid-Atlantic. The Baltimore-based company has launched a series of retailer promotions, such as two-for-$4 deals, to drive sales. It also a soft launch into the New York City market, according to a report in The Daily Record. Zest Tea was awarded the new funding from the Maryland Momentum Fund, a "late seed-stage funding" group operated through the University of Maryland.
8. Sunshine Beverages
Sunshine Beverages is now distributing its drinks to retailers in Colorado. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company produces, markets and sells a “better-for-you” energy beverage, branded Sunshine, in three flavors: Ginger Berry, Blueberry Lemonade and Clementine Twist. Sunshine has concentrated new market expansion within the Southeast, and introducing distribution in Colorado will be the brand’s first presence in the West.
9. Gas Monkey
Rotten Robbie convenience stores in Northern California now stock Soylent ready-to-drink meal replacements from Los Angeles-based Rosa Foods.
11. Califia Farms
With new cross-channel distribution, Califia Farms' Probiotic Dairy-Free Yogurt drinks are now available in Whole Foods, Kroger and 7-Eleven stores, according to the Los Angeles-based company.