Distribution Roundup: WAT-AAH! to Walmart

WAT-AAH! DRINK WATAAH KIDWalmart, the world’s largest retailer, continues to express interest in smaller, emerging brands. We’ve seen brands like Inko’s and KonaRed land nationwide distribution deals. In April, the retailer announced that it will stock Wild Oats organic foods, including pasta, spices and canned goods. And on May 13, WAT-AAH! announced that it has expanded its distribution network with authorization in Walmart Neighborhood Markets.

The neighborhood markets are considerably smaller than standard Walmart stores and embody a more localized feel. WAT-AAH!’s press release states that there are about 400 neighborhood markets in 25 states across the country. Walmart plans to increase the number of neighborhood markets to 1,100 in the next two years.

With the added distribution, WAT-AAH! adds to its already significant presence in mainstream retailers. Existing distribution includes a collection of major national players, such as Kroger and the many stores under its umbrella, Food Lion, Stop & Shop, Wegmans, Albertsons and Whole Foods, among others.

WAT-AAH! represents a contemporary take on traditional bottled water. It’s an alkaline spring water that contains naturally occurring electrolytes. However, Aquadopa takes innovation to another level. The Albuquerque, N.M.-based brand, which works with Bob Groux’s Coast Brands Group, calls itself the world’s first herbal supplement beverage to enhance dopamine function. On Wednesday, Aquadopa announced that it has secured nationwide distribution in Sprouts Farmers Markets.

Among other key ingredients, Aquadopa is made with mucuna pruriens, a tropical legume that contains L-dopa, an amino acid that the brain uses to produce dopamine, which enables executive functions such as foresight, planning and execution.

“I look forward to helping to educate Sprouts shoppers on the many benefits of mucuna,” said founder Dr. Andrew Hemmen, a board-certified internal medicine physician, according to the release. “I created Aquadopa to help make this ancient Indian herb mainstream.”

Also gaining distribution at Sprouts is Waiakea, a company that sources its volcanic water from Big Island’s Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii. The distribution agreement will bring Waiakea to more than 170 Sprouts locations in the Southwest.

The deal is just the next in line for Waiakea, which has experienced a productive year on the distribution front. The company said that it has seen strong growth in the natural channel through distribution with Nature’s Best, KeHE and UNFI.

“Sprouts represents one of the best retail partnerships we could ask for, as its customers and values parallel our own,” said Ryan Emmons co-founder and president of Waiakea. “The partnership also lends credibility to our sales growth, our commitment for positive industry change and our ability to change people’s lives. We look forward to developing a long and meaningful relationship with them.”

Other distribution news, ordered chronologically:

  • Bundle Organics has strengthened its e-commerce strategy by announcing that it will sell its products on Diapers.com, an online retailer for baby-related products, and VineMarket.com, its sister site that focuses on organic foods.

  • Cool Mountain Beverages, a craft soda company, announced that Horseshoe Hammond Casino in Hammond, Indiana, a Caesars Entertainment property, will stock its keg products.

  • Juicera, based in Hollywood, Fla., announced that its cold-pressed juice products will be available at 12 Whole Food Markets in Southeast Florida.

  • COCOZIA, a USDA organic coconut water, has reached a distribution partnership with Earth Origins Market.

  • KO Beverages, LLC, makers of Knockout Energy, announced that it has reached a distribution agreement with SPIKE Beverage, LLC, a DSD distributor that covers the entire state of Arizona.

  • On May 13, Califia Farms announced that its new line of Aguas Frescas, which comes in Strawberry Basil, Kiwi Cactus and Watermelon Ginger Lime, will be available this summer at Whole Foods nationwide.

  • Alkame Water, another alkaline water brand, announced that it has signed a deal with Fresh To You Wholesale, bringing the product to retailers across New Jersey.