Despite being a brand best known for its Internet presence and popularity within the CrossFit community, Kill Cliff has been making significant moves into conventional retailers. Following retail placement gains in QuickTrip, RaceTrac and Kroger, Kill Cliff’s functional sports recovery drinks are set to make their debut in Walmart next week.
“In one year, we went from three facings in the bottom shelf of about 130 QuickTrips to five facings on the second shelf of 700 [QuickTrip stores],” says Kill Cliff founder Todd Ehrlich. “So we’re very excited about what we can do at Walmart.”
Kill Cliff is taking what Ehrlich describes as a “small dive” into the world’s largest retailer, beginning in 300 stores within the state of Florida. Walmart has traditionally added new brands to in several thousand of its locations, but the company’s founder says Kill Cliff elected for the smaller start in order to focus on execution.
“We wanted to do this right,” he said. “Our team’s been in every Walmart in the state to do our homework and get all our displays up.”
Kill Cliff also recently debuted Berry Legit, the fourth addition to its line of low-calorie exercise recovery sports drinks. The new flavor profile is naturally sweetened with a stevia-erythritol blend, and Ehrlich expects it to become Kill Cliff’s number one selling flavor moving forward.
A former Navy SEAL, Ehrlich founded Kill Cliff in 2011 with the intention of creating a fortified sports drink with naturally occurring ingredients like ginger root. The brand quickly gained traction online and with those involved in the Paleo diet and the burgeoning CrossFit exercise community. From being sold in 20 fitness locations in its first year to now being available in 2,700 CrossFit-branded and similar-styled gyms across the United States, Kill Cliff drove sales by way of a strong following on social media and its partnerships with athlete brand ambassadors, also known as the company’s “Badassadors,” Ehrlich said.
From 2013 to 2014, Kill Cliff saw sales grow from $3 million to $8.4 million, powered by aggressive distribution efforts, its first major funding raise through Sherbrooke Capital, and the addition of beverage industry veterans to its operating team. Ehrlich projects the company to triple its sales in 2015.