Aloe vera water brand Aloe Gloe is launching a new low-calorie sparkling sub-line formulated with functional ingredients, including aloe, ginger and turmeric.
The three-SKU line, called Gloe Sparkling, pairs fruit flavors with a USDA Certified organic functional ingredient in each variety: Lemon (ginger), Fuji Apple & Pear (aloe) and Blood Orange (turmeric). Each contains five calories per 12 oz. can and is sweetened with organic stevia and organic erythritol. Gloe Sparkling will begin rolling out to retailers in January, beginning with Costco locations in the Western U.S.
Aloe Gloe co-founder and CEO Dino Sarti said the company had a long-term interest in ginger and turmeric, and extending the brand into the sparkling category was a natural fit for the brand, which is backed by food and beverage incubator L.A. Libations.
“With aloe vera, we saw an opportunity to strip [the ingredient] down and offer something that was efficacious and healthy and true to what it was,” he said. “Sparkling is an extension of that.”
The Gloe Sparkling line is similar to another L.A. Libations-backed beverage brand: Arya which markets a zero-calorie sparkling water infused with a proprietary blend of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. Sarti acknowledged that the two products play in a similar space, but also noted that Gloe Sparkling will have a distinctive positioning relative to Arya.
“We are bubbles with benefits, while they are really turmeric supplementation, in that they have more,” he said, noting that each SKU would contain the equivalent of a “daily, efficacious dose” of its respective functional ingredient.
He added that the sparkling line’s promotion and marketing activities will emphasize flavor and fun over the ingredients’ functional benefits, which have “a lot of history” in traditional medicine.
“We are selling the fact that this is super low in calories, it tastes great, it’s bubbly and fun,” he said.
The new line will be available in 12-packs featuring all three SKUs at Costco locations in the Western U.S. beginning on January 14. Along with L.A. Libations, Sarti noted that the club retailer was a “big sounding board” for Aloe Gloe as the product was being developed.
“They helped us shape small details like sweetness or packaging and some other things that they thought would really resonate with their members,” he said. “We think our consumer is definitely their member.”
Over the first few months of 2018, Sarti said the company plans to continue rolling out the line to existing retail partners in the conventional grocery, club, mass and convenience retail channels which had “hit it out of the park with Aloe Gloe.” Gloe Sparkling will also be available via Amazon beginning the first week of January.
Along with the launch of Gloe Sparkling, Aloe Gloe is also preparing a major label redesign for its core line of aloe vera-infused waters in January. Sarti described the new label as a cleaner and more modern update to its existing look, which has been used on all packaging since the brand’s debut in 2012. The redesigned label will be applied to the brand’s 15.2 oz. bottle and 1 L and 11 oz. Tetra Pak cartons.
The label change also coincides with a slight reformulation for Aloe Gloe. In shifting the line down from 36 to 30 calories per bottle across all SKUs, Sarti said the brand took advantage of an opportunity to reduce calories while maintaining the taste and experience consumers were used to. Incidentally, it also puts the line under the two-calories-per-ounce threshold that applies to taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages in cities like Oakland, Calif. and San Francisco.
On the distribution front, Sarti said Aloe Gloe will continue to focus on direct store delivery (DSD) in 2018. The company recently opened in Swire Coca-Cola and affiliated bottlers in October, allowing it to consolidate DSD operations from Denver to the West Coast.
“Next year we are looking to add depth, to access more accounts, reach more consumers and continue building on our momentum,” he said.