Distribution Roundup: More Oats in the Mainstream

Recent developments in distribution news indicate that retailers are beginning to express more confidence in oat-based beverages.

Shortly after BevNET reported that, alongside Sneaky Pete’s line of oat-based drinks, Target will include Oatworks in its emerging brands test, FreshDirect announced on Thursday that it will carry all three Oatworks flavors: Pomegranate Blueberry, Peach Mango and Strawberry Banana.

FreshDirect, which aims to stock fresh, nutritious food and beverages, services the greater New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware metro areas along with the greater Philadelphia area.

Oatworks, a line of oat and fruit smoothies made from 100 percent juice, are gluten-free, non-GMO, dairy-free and contain no sugar. The company wants to give consumers a portable alternative to a nutrient-rich bowl of oatmeal, according to CEO David Peters.

“What could be more convenient than having your Oatworks delivered right to your front door by Fresh Direct?” Peters said in a release.

On the other side of the U.S., San Diego-based Cuba Beverage Company announced on Wednesday that it has secured a new deal with Core-Mark for distribution in Nevada, New Mexico and Dallas.

CUBA Herbal Energy Juice is available in three flavors, Pomegranate-Cranberry, Wild Berry and Passion Fruit-Orange, and contains no caffeine, taurine, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives or artificial ingredients.

Core-Mark is one of the largest distributors in the retail industry, supplying a range of products to more than 29,000 locations across North America, including convenience, drug, grocery and specialty stores.

Announced this morning, Whole Foods will feature Martinelli’s Gold Medal Sparkling Organic Juices from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Along with Martinelli’s Sparkling Organic Cider, the Watsonville, Calif.- based juice and apple cider company will release two new flavors that are exclusive to Whole Foods: Sparkling Organic Apple-Grape and Sparkling Organic Apple-Peach.

The products, which are made from 100 percent organic juice, come in Champagne-style, 25.4 oz. bottles and lend themselves to celebratory toasts.

“Because of Whole Foods’ commitment to organic products, we can’t think of a better partner to debut our new Sparkling Organic Apple-Grape and Sparkling Organic Apple-Peach,” John Martinelli, president of S. Martinelli & Company, said in a release.

Also noted this morning, a few weeks after securing new distribution at 100 H-E-B stores in Texas, The Pulse Beverage Corporation announced that its Natural Cabana Lemonade will be available at 51 United Grocers locations in West Texas and 61 Foodtown locations in New York and New Jersey.

“Both of these grocery cooperatives have strong ties to their communities, providing an excellent opportunity to continue to build our presence and introduce our great tasting beverages in key regions,” Pulse CEO Bob Yates said in a release.

While United Grocers and Foodtown test the viability of lemonade during the winter months, Walgreens should have no such issues of seasonality in its partnership with PRO-NRG, a line of flavored protein waters.

On Thursday morning, PRO-NRG announced that it has secured chain-wide distribution in Walgreens. The water comes in a 4 oz. bottle, contains 15 grams of protein, B vitamins, 65 calories and has no sugar or caffeine. The line comes in five flavors: Pomegranate, Citrus, Berry, Grape and Watermelon.

Brandon Jacobs, running back for the New York Giants, and Daymond John, founder, president and CEO of FUBU, have partnered with Sante Pur Solutions LLC, the company that developed PRO-NRG, to endorse the product.

Also aiming to break through in a developing category, Alkaline Water Company Inc. announced Thursday morning that it will ship its product to El Rancho Supermarket in Texas and Crest Fresh Market in Oklahoma.

Sold under the trade name Alkaline88, the water is pH balanced, enhanced with trace minerals and electrolytes and sold in 3-liter and 1-gallon sizes.

“We are very pleased to announce that the response in Texas and Oklahoma has been better than anticipated and we have commenced shipments to both retailers for immediate sales,” Steven Nickolas, president and CEO of Alkaline Water, said in a release.