Distribution Roundup: CideRoad, DrinkMaple Go Big at Kroger; Cheribundi Enters Rite Aid

IMG_3676Kroger has added two fast-growing beverage brands to over 1,000 of its locations. Switchel brand CideRoad and DrinkMaple, which markets a line of maple water beverages, both announced widespread authorizations at Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain.

CideRoad’s gains span 18 Kroger divisions across 23 states, including placements at Dillion Stores, Frys, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, King Soopers, QFC and Smiths banners. The brand also recently gained additional distribution at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Bristol Farms, Natural Grocers and New Seasons Market. Meanwhile Drinkmaple, which is set to begin entering 1,030 Kroger stores at the end of this month, has also entered Costco stores in the club retailer’s Northeast region.

Cheribundi announced that its tart cherry juice products are now available at Rite Aid stores across the U.S. The brand’s single-serve grab-and-go bottles will soon be available in the sports drink coolers of the drug store chain, while its 32 oz. bottles can be found in the shelf-stable juice aisle of more than 4,000 Rite Aid locations.

Select Lucky Supermarkets in Northern California have picked up San Francisco kombucha brand Clearly Kombucha. In addition to stocking six Clearly flavors – Raspberry Ginger, Strawberry Hibiscus, Black Currant, Asian Pear, Raspberry Lemonade and Ginger Mint Lemonade, Lucky will also be taking in the brand’s new C-Botanicals line of fermented, probiotic botanical beverages.

In other distribution news:

Gizmo Beverages, makers of Tea of a Kind (TOAK), has announced a new agreement with Hensley Beverages for statewide distribution in Arizona. TOAK was formerly carried throughout the state via Spike Beverage, prior to the distributor’s acquisition by Hensley earlier this year. TOAK is now available at QuikTrip, Fry’s, Safeway, Albertson’s, Bashas, Food City, A.J. Fine Foods, and Whole Foods Markets. According to the company, it will enter Sprouts, Valero Corner Stores and Giant convenience stores later this year.

Talking Rain, parent company of Sparkling Ice, is heading to the United Kingdom and Ireland. On Monday the company announced its Black Raspberry, Orange Mango, and Peach Nectarine flavors will be sold across the pond. The company is supporting the international expansion with advertising and sampling campaigns led by London-based PR firm W Communications. The move into Europe follows previous international expansions into Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Australia.

Caffeinated water brand Avitae has been authorized at 115 Meijer locations throughout the Midwest. The Michigan-based retailer will carry Avitae’s 125 mg unflavored option, and Blackberry and Pomegranate Acai flavors.

OXiGEN Water, by way of distribution agreements with Unified Grocers-Market Centre and KeHE, has expanded its distribution into 113 Safeway stores and 27 Albertsons throughout Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming. The recent gains build on the brand’s existing footprint in California where it can be found in more than 560 stores, including Gelson’s Markets, Albertsons, Bristol Farms, VONS, Save Mart, Lucky, Mollie Stones and recently, Andronico’s Community Markets.

Organic sparkling coconut water brand Cocomazing has inked its first distribution deal, landing shelf space at all Central Market stores throughout the state of Texas.

Fresh off partnering with Los Angeles-based distributors Ace Beverage and Mission Beverage, JUST water, which markets a spring water packaged in a paper-based bottle, has announced a partnership with Arizona distributor Southern Wine & Spirits. Meanwhile, fellow sustainably packaged bottle water Boxed Water is Better, is entering the Midwest by way of 170 Meijer stores.

Aloe-infused water brand Detoxwater has announced a partnership with UNFI for national distribution and Preferred Beverage for its home turf of metro New York City.

High alkaline water QURE Water can now be found at North Carolina-based natural foods grocer Earth Fare, which will carry QURE’s 1 L and 0.5 L SKU. Fellow high pH water Alkaline88 has announced that distributor Unified Grocers is adding the brand’s 1 L and 700 mL sizes to its retail partners across Southern California.

Upstart birch water brand Sapp has been approved for placement in Whole Foods’ Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The company markets the beverage as having 80 percent less sugar than coconut water and five times the manganese than a cup of kale, among other health benefits.