Distribution Roundup: Role Tea Adds Wegmans and Hy-Vee

Role Tea Lands Three Accounts

Role Tea drastically expanded its distribution earlier this month. The tumeric and ginger-based tea company is now available in 70 Wegmans markets, up to 280 Hy-Vee stores and 12 Hometown Pharmacy locations.

This added distribution coincides with the Virginia-based brand’s new formulation — the teas now contain no added sugars. With the change, Role Tea’s entire product line contains 2 grams or less of sugar that comes from 100% juice concentrates.

“The timing of the change around the no added sugar as well as the launch of these new chains is perfect because it gives us a really diverse group of accounts — both in terms of the types of accounts and the geography — to really test this new product out,” Mike Johnson, Role Tea’s CEO and co-founder, told BevNET.

For Role Tea, this expansion could mark a pivotal moment in the company’s growth. Throughout most of 2017, distribution was limited to less than 30 Whole Foods Stores in the D.C.-area and a couple direct accounts in Kentucky and Ohio.

“We were literally distributing out of the trunks of our cars for the bulk of 2017,” said Johnson. “We really used 2017 just to learn and understand more of the market, which drove a lot of the changes that we’ve launched here in 2018.”

True Nopal Expands Distribution in Texas

True Nopal has added nearly 2,000 convenience stores in Texas to its distribution network. The Arizona-based cactus water brand can now be found in Circle K, Stripes, Murphy USA, Delek and Alon.

“The definitive line between conventional, natural, speciality and convenience channels have certainly been blurred over the past couple of years, which has led to strong growth, in better for you products, in the convenience channel,” Tom Zummo, CEO and founder of True Nopal Ventures LLC, said in a press release.

True Nopal’s distribution spans across the U.S. with accounts including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Safeway and Kroger. The cactus water is also available in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Guam.

Sunshine Beverages Grows in the Carolinas

Natural energy drink brand Sunshine Beverages has entered 76 QuikTrip convenience stores across North and South Carolina, the company announced this month. This news follows Sunshine Beverages’ expansion into Kroger markets within Georgia last March.

“Sunshine has enjoyed incredible growth in recent months, and QuikTrip is a great win as we head into the summer,” Lizzie Ward, Sunshine’s president, said in a press release. “QuikTrip will be Sunshine’s largest c-store partners to date.”

Along with Kroger and QuikTrip, the North Carolina-based energy drink can be found across the Southeast in convenience stores, breweries, independent retailers and grocery chains such as Food Lion, Publix and Lowes Foods.

Petal Launches on Amazon

Petal, a line of sparkling botanical-infused waters, is now available nationwide on Amazon. The brand’s three flavors — Original Rose, Mint Rose, and Lychee Rose — are now offered via the online retailer in 12-packs for $27.48. The beverage contains no calories, caffeine or sugar.

“Our customer base is constantly on the go, and we are thrilled that Amazon allows us to provide an easy solution to keep everyone’s refrigerators stocked with Petal,” Candice Crane, Petal’s CEO and founder, said in a press release.

Since launching two months ago, the Chicago-based brand has been sold throughout Chicago in grocers such as Treasure Island, Sunset Foods, Plum Market and Potash Market.