Something Natural has secured a chain-wide distribution deal with Sprouts Farmers Market. The flavored sparkling waters will hit shelves in October at all 175+ stores across 10 states, giving the Boston-based company a wider footprint in the Southwest.
The agreement includes three flavors — Blueberry Lemon, Black Cherry and Strawberry Peach — that will sell in the brand’s 11 oz. blue glass bottles for $1.99. The distribution will be handled by Nature’s Best, the retailer’s primary supplier, and will include both refrigerated and shelf placement.
Randy Shefshick, a longtime sales executive with Rockstar Energy Drink and the founder of Something Natural, said that his product allows Sprouts and like-minded retailers to participate in a burgeoning category whose market leaders haven’t conformed to their requirements in terms of ingredient profiles.
“A lot of these retailers that have strict guidelines with respect to ingredients, they’re aware of what’s going on with Sparkling Ice and with flavored sparkling water in general,” he said. “They’ve pretty much had to be on the sidelines.”
While regionally focused, including a recently-signed deal with all Shaw’s Wild Harvest locations, Something Natural has begun trickling into the West Coast. The products can be found at Whole Foods Markets in Southern California and Raley’s Supermarkets in Northern California. In March, the brand entered about 100 Safeways (with a review scheduled for October) and 50-60 Targets (review in November).
Meanwhile, Shefshick is considering moving on from proprietary glass to other formats, such as a PET package. While he likes the premium quality of glass, the potential margins of a packaging shift can be hard to ignore. And then there’s the requirements of the retailers themselves.
“Some of the Kroger banners out west told us that they don’t want glass in their stores anymore,” he said.