Distribution Roundup: CVS Takes Better-For-You Brands Nationwide

CVS Picks Up Pilot Program Beverages for Nationwide Placement

Since rebranding as CVS Health in 2014, the national drugstore chain has been steadily revamping its food and beverage set to promote better-for-you and healthy brands. A pilot program last year to bring on a number of healthier beverage brands saw companies like ITO EN, Drink Maple, and Steaz launch in about 450 select CVS stores across the country.

Now, CVS is taking on some of those brands nationwide, with DRY Sparkling and Drink Maple as two of the pilot program brands that have launched across the country.

Drink Maple co-founder Kate Weiler told BevNET last week that the DRINKmaple brand will have its CVS expansion later this summer, while a press release from DRY Sparkling announced that 4-packs of its Lavender, Fuji Apple, Cucumber, and Vanilla Bean flavored sodas secured placement in more than 6,000 stores at the end of May.

“When we started testing with CVS last year we felt this partnership could blossom into something huge, so it’s a dream come true to see our distribution scale so quickly,” Sharelle Klaus, CEO and founder of DRY Sparkling, said in a press release. “CVS is paving the way for better-for-you brands in the drug channel in response to consumers’ demand for cleaner options like our sodas. People want fewer calories, less sugar and fewer ingredients, yet still seek delicious, exciting flavors. We are thrilled to see CVS, an absolute leader in the drug channel, come on as a partner who will make DRY Sparkling available to so many more people.”

Verday Expands into Whole Foods Southern Pacific Region

Verday Chlorophyll Water is now available in Whole Foods Market stores in the Southern Pacific region, covering Southern California, Arizona, Southern Nevada, and Hawaii, the company announced last week.

“We are thrilled to partner with the nation’s leading natural and organic retailer, especially since our current and target customers are already shopping at Whole Foods,” Verday founder and CEO Randy Kohana said in a press release. “As chlorophyll continues to be a leading health trend in 2017, we couldn’t imagine a better partner to help expand our coverage in the Southern Pacific region. Through Whole Foods, we’ll be able to provide more customers around the country with Verday, allowing them to reap the benefits of chlorophyll with our grab-and-go bottles.”

Verday is distributed nationwide through KeHE and UNFI and in New York through New England Beverages. The company previously entered the Southern California market in February with distribution through Statewide Beverage Company.

AQUAhydrate Lands in Arizona

Alkaline water brand AQUAhydrate has expanded its presence in Arizona with placement in more than 1,800 stores in the Phoenix area, at retailers including Circle K, Walmart, Safeway, Fry’s, Bashas, and Walgreens.

“We see many new consumers switching to AQUAhydrate from sports drinks and less beneficial premium waters,” regional manager Andrew Heller said in a press release. “Consumers of all kinds are discovering the AQUAhydrate difference. With 65 percent annual growth in high pH water in the past 5 years, it is no surprise that AQUAhydrate is growing in popularity.”

The brand is promoted by its celebrity ownership group which includes actor Mark Wahlberg and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, each of whom have supported marketing efforts via store visits and appearances in ad campaigns.

“AQUAhydrate is sold nationally with a strong presence on both coasts,” Heller said. “Recently, Arizona has become the number one market in the country for the brand in share and volume.”