In the midst of growing awareness about the health benefits of chia and increased use of the ingredient in foods and beverages, 2012 has been something of a coming out party for a number of chia-based drinks, and, in particular, Chia\Vie. Over the past year, Chia\Vie co-founders Mark and Camille Reith have gradually developed a deeper distribution footprint for the line of of ground chia and fruit juice blends, which are currently sold in natural food retailers throughout California and a number of states in the Southwest.
However, with category leaders Mamma Chia and GT’s – which makes a chia seed and kombucha blend – continuing to grow in natural in hybrid retail channels, and an expanding field of chia beverage brands and established beverage companies such as Lifeway Kefir introducing chia-infused line extentions, the Reiths are hoping that two recent moves will be key to maintaining momentum for Chia\Vie, while at the same time keeping up with competition.
As a way to allow consumers to better understand the beverage, the Reiths recently transtioned Chia\Vie from a 10 oz. aluminum bottle to a 12 oz. plastic bottle with a full wrap label that is partially exposed in the back and bottom of the package. The new design gives consumers a clear view of the chia/juice blend. Additionally, the company entered into a brand management agreement with Ridgewood, NJ-based Cascadia Managing Brands which will assist in strategy development and execution, distribution expansion, and new marketing initiatives for Chia\Vie.
In this video segment filmed at the 2012 Natural Products Expo East show in Baltimore, BevNET CEO John Craven speaks with the Reiths about the decision to move Chia\Vie into PET bottles, the efficacy of ground versus whole chia seeds, and their expectations for the company’s partnership with Cascadia. The Reiths also explain why they feel confident about weathering a worldwide chia shortage, and how the company’s well-received presentation in New Beverage Showdown 3 at BevNET Live Summer 2012 offered a critical opportunity for exposure of the Chia\Vie brand and led to a number of important connections with beverage industry advisors, retailers, and distributors.