Distribution Roundup: Premium/Specialty CSD Brands Gain Momentum

PopwaterThe month of October has been packed with distribution news from entrepreneurial beverage companies spanning a range of categories, including tea, cold-brew coffee and enhanced waters. Most notably, however, is the number of specialty and premium CSD brands that have secured new lines of distribution and retail placement.

Amid a downturn in consumption of legacy soda products, upstarts like Minta, Sipp, Something Natural and POP Water are gaining steam in variety of regions across the country and in retailers ranging from single-store grocers to supermarket giants.

Sipp, which markets a line of upscale, organic sodas, will soon be on the shelf at Wegmans stores throughout the East Coast. Wegmans, a regional supermarket chain operating 84 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts, will carry Sipp’s Lemon Flower, Ginger Blossom, and Mojo Berry varieties. Haddon House Food Products, Inc. will distribute Sipp beverages to Wegmans stores.

Meanwhile, Minta, a brand of mint-flavored carbonated drinks, and Something Natural, which sells a line of flavored sparkling waters, have each secured chain-wide distribution at natural grocery chain Sprouts Farmers Market. The products will be available at all Sprouts locations, which number over 175 and are spread across 10 states across the Southern U.S. Something Natural’s deal will bring three flavors — Blueberry Lemon, Black Cherry and Strawberry Peach — each packaged in the brand’s 11 oz. blue glass bottles, into Sprouts. Minta’s orginal, strawberry and lemon varieties will also be represented in the chain.

POPwater, a line of 30-calorie soda drinks, has landed new chain authorizations from Kroger-owned Smith’s and Ralphs stores. POPwater drinks, which are packaged in 11.2 oz. aluminum bottles, are now available in all 240 Ralphs locations. The company also announced new distribution partnerships with Admiral Beverage Corporation for New Mexico and Southern Wine & Spirits for Nevada.

In other distribution news:

  • Outpost Cold Brew, a Los Angeles-based beverage company, has reached an agreement with Palo Alto Foods to distribute the brand’s bottled cold brew coffee beverage throughout the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. It marks the first time Outpost Cold Brew is available outside the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas.
  • Koa Organic Beverages has finalized a partnership with natural and organic distributor Gourmet Guru for distribution of its Koa Natural Olakino in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Koa’s Olakino is an all-natural, 100 percent juice-based beverage that retains all the nutrients derived from organic fruits and vegetables, yet contains no sugar, calories, carbohydrates or additives. The drink is clear in color and features notes of citrus, mint and lemongrass. It is primarily distributed in high-end hotels and specialty retailers including all Central Market locations in Texas.
  • Epicurex LLC, which produces Cocozia a brand of organic coconut waters, will now be available in Mother Earth Natural Foods. The retailers operates six locations in Florida; four in Ft. Myers, one in Cape Coral and one in Estero.
  • Molly’s Milk Truck Beverages LLC has debuted of its café-style almond milk beverages at select retailers in New York City. Molly’s Milk Truck blends are made with California almond milk with cold-brewed 100 percent Columbian coffee, imported chai, and organic agave. The dairy-free, gluten-free line comes in four flavors, with each 12 oz. serving containing 90 calories or less. The beverages are distributed through Dora’s Naturals and will be available at Whole Foods locations throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
  • Hoist, an isotonic beverage, is now distributed in 212 Kroger stores throughout Ohio. The product is now available in a new 16.9 oz. bottle and comes in three three flavors: starfruit, strawberry/lemonade and orange.
  • B’more Organic, maker of a line of organic smoothies, is expanding in the Mid-Atlantic. The fat-free, gluten-free, high-protein smoothies are now available in over 100 new locations in the region including Whole Foods Markets, Safeway supermarkets Distribution to Safeway is handled by Greenshoots, a refrigerated DSD distributor.
  • Little Me Tea will now be sold in 213 Meijer Grocery Stores in five states including Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.
  • Humm Kombucha has announced a distribution agreement with beverage distributor Maletis Beverage for coverage in the Portland, Ore. area.
  • Target is now carrying the Wild Poppy Juice line in 56 locations in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Utah. The certified organic craft fruit drinks come in four unique flavor combinations – Peppermint Lemonade, Peach Vanilla, Blood Orange Chili, and Grapefruit Ginger – and are made from organic California-grown fruit, organic spices and organic agave nectar. The products come in 10 oz. glass bottles and retails for $2.89 at Target.
  • Icelandic Water Holdings hf, which markets Icelandic Glacial premium natural spring water has announced a partnership with Remfly Wines & Spirits Ltd which will distribute the water to all on and off-premise outlets nationwide throughout Macau.
  • Caliwater Cactus Water, an enhanced water infused with prickly pear cactus juice has signed a distribution agreement with L.A. Distributing Company. As a result of the deal, Caliwater is expected to be represented in over 2,500 local, gourmet and health food stores and restaurants through Southern California.
  • ZMIX, a zero-calorie, concentrated cocktail mixer is now available in package stores across Georgia and Tennessee.
  • The Double Cola Company has announced its partnership with Budweiser of Chattanooga as its sole product distributor for the metro-Chattanooga, Tenn., area. The agreement allows Budweiser of Chattanooga, which currently services more than 150 accounts for Double Cola including Bi-Lo grocery stores, independent supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants to distribute Double Cola’s entire product line throughout all of its Chattanooga-area accounts.
  • Cool Mountain Beverages craft sodas are now distributed in Canada, via Buckstone Distributors, which now carries the full line of drinks.
  • Mix1 Life, Inc. has entered a nationwide sales management agreement with Advantage Sales and Marketing for all flavors of its protein drink.