Zola Expands National Footprint; Bazi hits Rite Aid

Two superfruit beverage brands have confirmed key national retail activations today.

Zola Brazilian Superfruits is moving into national supermarket chain Safeway with six SKUs. The company will begin selling 12 oz. and 32 oz. sizes it its three key acai-based varieties, original, blueberry and pomegranate in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Beverage Spectrum readers will recall that Zola has recently used an experiment with DSD for its products in Colorado; according to CEO Chris Cuvelier, that will not change – in Colorado. The rest of the Safeway arrangement will be direct-to-warehouse, he said. The brand will be carried in Safeway stores across the nation.

Soon to hit the Safeway cart: Zola

With the added distribution footprint comes an extra marketing burden – something that Cuvelier acknowledged is in the planning stage. While Safeway and Whole Foods – a chain in which acai awareness is high – tend to cluster in many of the same areas, he said, sampling, social media, and an overall strategy are going to have to be designed, and paid for.

“We’re going to spend the whole day pounding through that,” he said, when asked how the brand can generate pull through a national chain. “The next six to twelve months will be very telling for us.”

Also gaining new key distribution is the BAZI Natural Energy Shot, which will be available in 2000 Rite Aid stores in its GNC LiveWell store-within-a-store locations. BAZI, which is based on the high antioxidant capacity of a combination of superfruits, is in the midst of reformulating its taste profile as well.

“As we continue to aggressively build out our nationwide distribution, we are excited to have the BAZI Natural Energy Shot available at select Rite Aid stores,” said BAZI CEO Debbie Wildrick.