Video: Expo West 2014 – KeVita Aims for Konventional

For one of the country’s hottest brands in the natural channel, Natural Products Expo West 2014 also seemed to be something of a point of departure for KeVita, a fast-growing sparkling probiotic brand that aims for 100 percent growth annually for the next five years – and has hit that mark for the past two, according to co-founder Bill Moses.

Helping that brand along will be PepsiCo’s Naked Emerging Brands unit, as word leaked out during the show that KeVita was entering a trial distribution test with that brand’s vaunted cold-channel trucks in the spring.

Speaking with BevNET on camera, Pepsi wasn’t on the table for discussion, but what was on Moses’ mind was that the brand has proven to have the power to deepen its connection with consumers, as same-store sales are up 80 to 90 percent, he said.

“It’s really a validation that the product’s on trend and the consumers are coming back for repeat purchasing,” Moses said.

While KeVita has grown largely in Whole Foods and Safeway, it is aiming more for the conventional channel in 2014 and 2015, Moses confirmed, with a DSD push into foodservice and up-and-down the street local accounts. To keep the momentum going, the brand’s board has approved a marketing budget for the purpose of moving past a “push model” (getting the product on-shelf) to a “pull model” (engaging the consumer so they put it in their cart).

Marketing budgets require marketing executives, and Bill Lange, the brand’s newly-hired CMO, said he’s ready to spend it.

“The underlying fundamentals are there,” said Lange, late of ZICO coconut water.  “The challenge for us now is, how do we go out to a wider audience.”

To hear about the way promotions and marketing will interact for KeVita, and more on Bill Moses’ plans for the brand, watch the video.