Just Chill Partners with L.A. Libations, Aims for Mainstream Distribution

The Chill Group has announced a partnership with brand incubator L.A. Libations to expand the availability of its Just Chill relaxation drink line. L.A. Libations co-founder Danny Stepper said a growing number of retailers have expressed interest in the relaxation drink business, and that Just Chill, an all-natural product that uses L-theanine as its primary functional ingredient, was the brand that he viewed as having the best potential to be the leader in the nascent category.

“We’re excited to work with L.A. Libations to take this brand to the next level,” said Max Baumann, CEO of The Chill Group, Inc. “Looking at what they’ve achieved with their elite emerging brand portfolio, its evident that they have what it takes to position Just Chill as the leader in the relaxation segment.”

While Just Chill, which also introduced its first line extension, has gained traction within a number of natural foods retailers, Stepper said that L.A. Libations would attempt to expand its availability and introduce the brand to more mainstream channels, including grocery and drug. Stepper stated that L.A. Libations would place Just Chill alongside energy drinks on store shelves, positioning the brand as “an alternative to energy” while continuing to more clearly define the relaxation category in the coming months. And while noting that the average consumer of Just Chill is of the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) mold with a tendency toward consuming natural products, Stepper said the consumer base for relaxation drinks is growing and becoming much broader.

“2013 is going to be a breakout year for Just Chill and the relaxation segment,” Stepper said.

Interestingly, Stepper noted that a key to partnering with The Chill Group was Just Chill’s all-natural ingredient content, but, more importantly, the fact that the drinks do not contain melatonin. Over the past year, a number of relaxation beverage manufacturers have been criticized for their use of Melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycle in humans, as some industry observers worry that daytime consumption of a beverage that contains Melatonin could lead to over-drowsiness and accidents. Moreover, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently kept a closer eye on products containing Melatonin. The agency requires that products that contain the ingredient must be labeled as supplements and earlier this year warned Revolt Distribution, Inc. that, despite being labeled as a supplement, its Slowtivate product had the appearance and representation of a conventional beverage.