Suja Enters Emerging Drinking Vinegars Segment with Upcoming Line Extension

Suja970Leading cold-pressed juice brand Suja is launching a new line of functional drinking vinegars.

Made with organic apple cider vinegar, cold-pressed fruits and vegetables, and four billion vegan probiotic cultures, the line extension is set to debut at Whole Foods Markets across the country beginning in September. Available in five flavors — Hibiscus Ancho Chile, Strawberry Balsamic, Peach Ginger, Cucumber Ginger and Lemon Cayenne — and containing 20-30 calories and 3-6 grams of sugar per 13.5 oz. bottle, depending on variety, the products will retail for $2.99, priced in line with Suja’s probiotic waters that launched in Target at the end of 2015.

Suja confirmed the launch and details in an e-mail to BevNET. CEO Jeff Church was unavailable for comment.

Suja’s upcoming launch follows other recent forays into the nascent category of drinking vinegars. At the 2016 Summer Fancy Food Show, Austin, Texas-based kombucha brand LIVE was in attendance, where founder Trevor Ross discussed the company’s recently launched sparkling drinking vinegars, which debuted at the Natural Products Expo West trade show in March.

“There’s already an awareness that apple cider vinegar is good for you, but consumers want a full flavor experience along with functionality” said Ross. “That’s the sweet spot where we wanted to play with these, the balance between wellness and taste.”

Pok Pok Som, which has been selling drinking vinegar concentrates since 2010, leaned more on flavor with the introduction of Som Soda, a line of ready-to-drink drinking vinegar-based sodas in September of 2015. Operations Manager Dylan Meyers, who was manning the Pok Pok Som booth at Fancy Foods, indicated the line extension has been a “gangbuster” success so far, saying the soda format has served as a vehicle to bring consumers – particularly those seeking better-for-you refreshment options – into the drinking vinegars space.

“Getting the consumer to take a leap of faith on a $2 soda in the cold case comes easier than a $12 concentrate in the mixer set,” said Meyers. “We think we’ll start to establish brand loyalty with the sodas and then introduce new consumers to the concentrates.”

Whether highlighting function, flavor or somewhere in between, drinking vinegar beverages appear to be gaining traction across the board, no longer an entirely niche product amongst hardcore holistically-minded consumers. Hain Celestial-owned HPP juice brand Blueprint recently added two new SKUs featuring apple cider vinegar.

Earlier this month, Shire City Herbals, a Pittsfield, Massachusetts-based brand, announced new distribution at all 230 Sprouts Farmers Markets. In May, switchel brand Cide Road moved into 1,000 Kroger stores across 23 states. Kroger-owned Turkey Hill recently introduced its own line of switchel-inspired beverages with the launch of its Haymakers line.