Distribution Roundup: Something Natural Lands Safeway, Target Deals

When the RC Cola-drinkin’, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos-eatin’ portion of this fine country browses the “healthy aisle” of a supermarket, they may not know what they’ve just seen. (Was that patchouli-flavored burrito supposed to be served hot or with hot yoga?) However, they do often know that they walked past something natural. Whatever that means.

Something Natural Sparkling Water takes its name from the foggy descriptor that has a mostly positive connotation. And with news that the South Boston, Mass.-based company has been added to refrigerated sets in the natural sections of Safeway markets, you can count on the preservation of this so-so understanding. The company will also begin a test launch of its products in Target beginning in June.

“Expanding distribution into large national retailers is a fantastic opportunity but we made sure we treaded cautiously with our growth,” founder Randy Shefshick said in a release. “We spent the past year and a half listening to our retail partners and consumers who provided constructive market feedback so that we would be ready to take the next step.”

While Something Natural still has some work left before it passes Target’s test, Cheribundi has already made the big leagues with Walmart. The tart cherry juice marketer announced on March 17 that two of its top-selling Fruit Refresh blends, Lemonade Refresh and Cranberry Refresh, are now available in 2,100 Walmart stores. The deal exemplifies Walmart’s increasing willingness to stock more health-focused and functional beverages.

“Walmart is dedicated to selling high quality products to their customers at prices they can afford,” Cheribundi CEO Brian Ross said in a release.

Other distribution news, ordered chronologically:

  • Shortly after announcing its availability at 4,100 CVS stores and select Circle K locations, Pro Balance, Inc., the holding company for The Original Protein Shot, announced that Dunham’s Sports will offer the product in 200 stores across 17 states, from Nebraska to Maryland.

  • True Drinks, Inc., the company that markets AquaBall, a flavored water for kids, announced Friday that it has secured distribution in Lowe’s Food Stores, which operates in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The news follows the company’s announcement on March 13 that AquaBall will be available at Xtra Mart Convenience Stores, which operate in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

  • MINTA, a carbonated, mint-flavored soda, announced Friday that it has launched in “I Love L.A.” retail locations across Terminal 2 and 5 of Los Angeles International Airport.

  • With help from a beefed up management team and a package redesign, KonaRed announced on March 21 that it has secured shelf placement in more than 2,100 Walmart stores across the U.S.

  • Fresh off its appearance at Expo West, Drazil Foods, the marketer of Drazil Kids Tea, announced on March 20 that the tea is now available in Whole Foods Markets in the Southwest.

  • Shortly after launching MINŌKU Coconut Water, Chattanooga, Tenn.-based The Double Cola Company announced on March 18 that Nature’s Best will distribute the coconut water.

  • Water Sensations announced on March 17 that its water enhancers are now being sold at Whole Foods in Florida and the Pacific Northwest via distribution from UNFI.

  • Frava announced that Target has agreed to feature the beverage for a limited rollout in 50 to 250 stores beginning this summer.  Frava also announced that it has reached a deal with Bernick’s, a distributor that services Minnesota and Wisconsin with Pepsi, MillerCoors products and a number of other beverage brands. The deal will give Frava a chain-wide partnership with Holiday Stationstores, a convenience store chain with more than 400 stores in 10 states that stretch from Minnesota to Alaska.

  • VLiNG, LLC, the beverage company that markets VLiNG Mixers, a slightly carbonated beverage designed to mix with spirits, announced on March 12 that the mixers are available in approximately 1,800 Kroger stores across the U.S.

  • West Coast Chill, an energy drink from Irvine, Calif., announced on March 12 that the company has begun delivering the beverage to Albertsons and Walgreens.

  • SIPP eco beverage co. announced on March 5 that its sparkling organic sodas will soon be available in Whole Foods Markets throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes stores in Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C. and parts of New Jersey.

  • ITO EN announced on March 4 that Jay Street Coffee, just one of the company’s recent releases, is now available at Sprouts Farmers Market stores.