Beverages

C-Store Distribution Part of Smart Soda, Refreshing USA Deal

Ready-to-drink offering to launch in early October
Lior Shafir and Julia Solooki, co-founders of Smart Soda; Smart Soda cans and dispensed machines
Photograph courtesy of Smart Soda

CLEVELAND — Healthy beverage brand Smart Soda Holdings recently signed a $3 million investment and strategic partnership with Refreshing USA, which includes nationwide distribution into convenience stores and elsewhere.

The partnership gives Cleveland-based Smart Soda, which comes in both can and dispensed formats, access to Refreshing USA’s 44 branches. The Refreshing USA distribution network includes thousands of c-stores, retail locations and more than 22,000 beverage vending machines.

Refreshing USA, Everett, Wash., said it expects to exceed record growth in 2022 and to greatly expand opportunities with Smart Soda. The ready-to-drink (RTD) Smart Soda offering will launch in early October.

The partnership supports Smart Soda’s massive expansion and distribution capabilities it already has in place, the company said.

“The market continues to seek healthier, functional beverage alternatives,” said Lior Shafir, CEO of Smart Soda (pictured with co-founder Julia Solooki). “We couldn't wish for a better partner to support our massive growth and our ready-to-drink launch.”

During the launch, Smart Soda will unveil nine all-natural-flavored sparkling waters with better-for-you benefits. Available in tall, slim cans, benefits include energy focus and immunity enhancement, the company said.

Ryan Wear, Refreshing USA managing partner, said, “We’re excited to add Smart Soda to our portfolio. More and more clients are looking for healthier options. The real benefit of the Smart Soda products is that it’s not simply a healthier option, it tastes amazing and fits perfectly with our growth strategy.”

Refreshing USA has dedicated capital and personnel to place equipment. “We believe that Smart Soda is a great fit for corporate offices, c-stores and universities,” Wear said.

Smart Soda offers functional beverages crafted with alkaline water. It serves a wide-ranging flavor portfolio and offers dispensing options to c-stores, the foodservice industry and workplaces.

Refreshing USA started in 1996 with the goal of revolutionizing workplace refreshments. It is active in 44 states and expects to exceed $250 million in revenue in 2022.

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