Splash Beverage Group has not taken kindly to the news that KonaRed, a producer of coffee fruit-based beverages and supplements, will no longer be using its services. In a statement released to BevNET, Splash revealed that it has filed a claim against KonaRed Corporation “seeking to compel it to honor the parties’ 2014 distribution and marketing agreements.”
The claim comes in response to KonaRed’s recent announcement that it would be moving its sales and distribution efforts in-house as part of plans to increase revenue “through better oversight and tighter controls on its inventory management and operational logistics.”
“We needed to make a change in our sales and marketing strategy,” KonaRed President and COO Kyle Redfield stated in a press release. “We are strengthening our customer relationships and seeking direct distribution across the U.S. to get all of our products on the shelves of leading retailers. This will not be limited to our premium coffee fruit juices, but will also include our dietary supplements and new line of coffees. We expect near term increases in sales and an increase of exposure to the brand through our marketing efforts.”
Reached via e-mail, KonaRed founder and CEO Shaun Roberts told BevNET that “KonaRed Corporation does not see merit to the claims against us. The matter is now before the courts and we will defer any further comments at this time.”
KonaRed originally granted distribution rights to Splash Beverages in January, 2014, and expanded further on the partnership in April of that year with a sales and marketing agreement.
Founded in 2013 by former Marley Beverage Company executives Robert Nistico and Kevin McClafferty, Splash Beverage’s non-alcoholic portfolio also includes TapouT sports and energy drinks and Bruce Lee Tea.