Distribution Roundup: Tio Gazpacho Triples Retail Presence

Tio Gazpacho Triples Retail Presence in Two Months

Drinkable soup brand Tio Gazpacho has had a busy summer, tripling its retail store presence in just two months, founder and CEO Austin Allan told BevNET Wednesday. The gains include new distribution in the Northeast, Midwest, Texas, and the Pacific Northwest.

Among its top new partnerships include new placement in Whole Foods’ Northern California region, which includes 44 stores and gives the brand a presence in two UNFI warehouses. Tio Gazpacho is also available in 19 Whole Foods stores in the Northeast, but the expansion marks the first time the chilled soup maker has landed an entire region of the premium grocer. Allan said the expansion will help the company to further grow its Whole Foods relationship in 2018.

Tio Gazpacho has also picked up distribution in 55 Super Target stores in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, and Nebraska and also launched in all Fresh Thyme locations throughout the Midwest.

In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Tio Gazpacho partnered with Bayside Distributing for full distribution throughout the two states.

The company has also entered all ShopRite stores and Wegman’s stores, where the latter has created category sets for Tio Gazpacho and two other drinkable soup brands.

“This is the culmination of over a year’s worth of planning that is finally paying off,” Allan told BevNET. “We made a lot of changes back in January — we lowered the price point and introduced new flavors — and retailers are on board.”

When Tio Gazpacho first launched in New York two years ago, Allan said the drinkable soup concept seemed “ahead of its time” and retail buyers were frequently resistant. That has changed, however, in the past year and a half. In March, 2016, 301INC, General Mills’ business development and venture capital arm, invested $1.25 million in the brand, and since June Tio Gazpacho focused its energies on securing new accounts.

However, Tio Gazpacho’s $8 price point was a high barrier for trial and adoption. In a move designed to increase the brand’s appeal among retailers and their customers, Tio Gazpacho introduced a new 10 oz. bottle in January. The package size came with a price point of $4.99,

Among other gains made in recent months, the brand has entered fast casual chain Snap Kitchen at its locations in Texas, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, Haggen Food stores in the Pacific Northwest, and has partnered with airport distributor OTG to secure placement in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and three New York area airport restaurants.

“It’s a great product for airports,” Allan said. “When you’re hungry there, you don’t want something messy; you want something nice and quick.”

Having launched two new flavors earlier this year, Allan said the innovation pipeline is settling down for a time as the company continues to focus on expanding its distribution footprint.

Avitae Enters CVS Health

Caffeinated water maker Avitae USA, LLC has secured national distribution in 464 CVS Health stores, according to a press release.

Promoting its products as better-for-you energy alternatives to sodas and energy drinks, Avitae’s cherry and raspberry lime “Sparkling Avitae” SKUs will be available in the national drug chain.

“We’re excited to be a part of CVS Health’s commitment to helping consumers live healthier lives with more nutritious snack and beverage options,” said Norman E. Snyder, president and chief executive officer of Avitae, in the press release. “Avitae is healthy hydration that not only provides consumers with the instant-go they are looking for to power through their day, but also a zero-calorie, zero-sugar beverage option they can feel good about.”

The line will retail for $1.77 per 16.9 oz. bottle. Avitae expects its caffeinated waters will be available in 1,100 CVS Health stores by fall 2018.

Sweettauk Lemonade Expands UNFI, Adds Gold Coast Distributors

New York-based organic lemonade makers Sweettauk Lemonade has expanded its relationship with natural and organic distributor UNFI, and is now carried by the company’s Hudson Valley, Chesterfield, and York warehouses, according to a press release.

The warehouses service the New York metro area, upstate New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut; New England; and Southern New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, respectively.

On Wednesday, Sweettauk announced additional distribution gains in New York with the addition of Gold Coast Distributors Ltd., which services the greater Brooklyn area.