Hoping to make a big splash in the country’s second largest market, HINT Water has signed an agreement with L.A. Distributing Co. to distribute the brand throughout Los Angeles county.
Although HINT, which markets still and sparkling lines of unsweetened, flavored waters, is currently distributed in some parts of L.A. via UNFI within the natural channel as well as Real Soda and Kehe in a handful of outlets, the company is looking to L.A. Distributing Co. to dramatically increase its presence in the market, specifically in mainstream grocery and up and down the street retailers.
“L.A. could be our best market, but it’s not our best market right now,” said HINT co-founder and COO Theo Goldin. “We’re at a point where there’s a lot of demand, but [inventory] hasn’t been optimal for the consumer. The key is the level of service we’re going to get through DSD.”
While Goldin declined to reveal any specifics about the deal, he noted that he was confident in L.A. Distributing’s ability to move “a lot of cases,” and to “increase our level of service across all channels.”
By adding HINT to its roster, L.A. Distributing co-founder Arthur Flores hopes that the deal will enhance his company’s presence in larger chain retailers, particular as consumers shift toward healthier beverage options. The DSD distributor currently holds a diverse portfolio of snack beverage brands that includes Pop Chips, Reed’s, Ito En, and Voss. In addition to servicing a range of independent retailers and chain accounts, the company also works as a sub-distributor for larger non-alcoholic beverage houses including Haralambos and Real Soda.
“We are very excited to be working with HINT,” said Flores. “This is the direction consumer beverage brands are headed: true zero-calorie beverages that aren’t just plain water.”
To support the new distribution initiative in L.A., HINT has brought on beverage marketing veteran Paul Palacios to spearhead its field marketing operations in Southern California. Over the past eight years Palacios had been the Entertainment Marketing Manager for Monster Energy, gaining placement of the energy drink brand at a variety of studio sets and high-profile music and film events, including SXSW and the Sundance Film Festival. Prior to his work with Monster, Palacios worked on guerilla marketing campaigns for Coca-Cola.