Looking to shine a bright light in the cold-pressed juice category, Sol-ti have already expanded from their native California into seven more states this year, with eyes on picking up another four or five by the year’s end.
Since opening a tasting room at their San Diego production facility last year, Sol-ti has partnered with UNFI for distribution in southern California and teamed with another local DSD distributor to cover the northern part of the state, founder and CEO Ryne O’Donnell told BevNET. The company also self-distributes locally in the southern California region and has added 50 Pacific Southwest region Whole Foods.
According to O’Donnell, Sol-ti initially planned to be available in roughly five states by this summer, but an opportune chance to gain distribution in Hawaii got the ball rolling early. Since then, the juice company has quickly expanded its reach further, signing with distributors Nu Inc. in New York, Rogue Natural Foods in Oregon, and gaining a distribution foothold in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas. In New York, Nu Inc. has focused on placing the brand in the convenience and on-premise channels, while in the west the company has made a grocery play, adding several Natural Grocers stores.
“We’ve been using the same recipe,” O’Donnell said. “Find a good DSD distributor that wants to partner with us, they have an existing account base of a couple hundred to a thousand, and we can implement it with our sales team to gain authorization.”
Next up in Sol-ti’s crosshairs are Florida, the Pacific Northwest, and the midwest. Curiously, O’Donnell is interested in targeting Oklahoma, where Oklahoma City has been seeing a revitalization as a popular destination for young people to move. Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. are on the checklist as well.
Currently, the retail launch has focused on seven flavors in Sol-ti’s portfolio, including Pure Green, Ginger Made, Watermelon Mint, and the four flavors in its SuperAde line.
The organic juices come in glass bottles and are light-filtered. The line retails for between $6-$7, O’Donnell said, which puts Sol-ti in the medium range for the cold-pressed juice category, something the company hopes will make it more accessible.
“Part of our mission statement is to reach all walks of life, so really our demographic is broad,” O’Donnell said. “We’re getting the consumers who are used to Naked and Odwalla and Evolution Fresh in the $4 range trading up to glass, and we’re also getting the guys and gals that are already buying the $6-$8 beverages that want glass. And for some people, they’re noticing that their regional HPP juice company, that is $9 and may or may not be organic, is probably not the best choice.”
In addition to to the distribution gains, Sol-ti has also made upgrades to its San Diego production facility. The company has upgraded its tank storage and increased the automation of its bottling line to run more cases per day.