Sensing the opportunity to accelerate brand growth and eager to bring larger chain accounts on board in the New England region, Bai has switched its distribution contracts to giant independent Polar Beverage from a network of smaller DSD operations in parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The move to Polar means the growing brand is leaving Atlas, Tomassetti, Rogo and Great State – all of which are affiliated with the Northeast Independent Distributors’ Association (NIDA) group – after about three years. The brand remains in other NIDA houses, however, including B & E Juice in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
After Polar executive Gerry Martin confirmed the move, Bai founder Ben Weiss told BevNET that the switch is about acceleration.
“We are really excited to grow Bai into a national brand in 2014,” Weiss said. “Polar Beverage will play a significant role in the northeast region and offers Bai a strong route to market that can service the pending chain activations and support our growth in that region in 2014 and beyond.”
The move into Polar has put Bai into a formidable position in the east, as it is affiliated with Honickman in Pennsylvania and Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) in New York, where it also signed a deal recently with online retailer FreshDirect. The brand is also with DPSG out of San Francisco and Haralambos Beverage Company in Southern California.