Distribution Roundup: Soylent Signs with Big Geyser

Soylent Partners with Big Geyser for New York Launch

After making the leap from ecommerce to traditional retail last summer via 7-Eleven, meal replacement drink Soylent is ramping up its brick-and-mortar placement by partnering with distributor Big Geyser to service the New York metro area starting this week.

Speaking to BevNET, Soylent CEO Bryan Crowley said New York is the brand’s largest market for ecommerce sales, making its retail launch a natural next step in pivoting towards a more public-facing sales strategy.

“New York makes a lot of sense for us,” Crowley told BevNET. “It’s the most relevant to use-case for us. Soylent clearly fits with busy, on-the-go commuters and certainly a whole group, millions of people, who are trying to eat better.”

In addition to servicing independent stores in the five boroughs and Long Island, Crowley said the company’s New York strategy will include targeting neighborhoods near universities, as well as securing office and food service accounts.

Soylent initial launched in 18 Los Angeles-area 7-Eleven stores last fall. In Q4, Crowley said, the company expanded into more than 1,000 locations of the c-store chain in L.A., the San Francisco Bay Area, the Greater Austin, Tex.-area, Seattle, and Portland, Ore.

On Monday, Soylent expanded that partnership with more than 400 New York-area 7-Eleven stores.

Soylent also has begun tapping into college accounts with the University of Texas at Austin where the company sells more than 100 cases a week, Crowley said. He noted that focusing on retailers near colleges in New York will be an important part of helping the brand to grow.

“When you think about our core target consumer base, college university students are right at the top of the list,” Crowley said. “They’re on-the-go, they’re studying, they’re working one, sometimes two jobs to pay their way through college.”

Soylent’s New York launch also introduces a target-rich environment for sampling activations. According to Crowley, many consumers have heard of the brand thanks to media exposure, but most have yet to try it. The company has plans to deploy branded vans throughout the city and sponsor local events. It will also introduce Soylent food carts as a means of integrating into the New York community.

Although the company is looking to grow its audience, Crowley said the move to retail will be a service to its early adopter online audience.

“The great thing about launching in our number one ecommerce market is that one of the things that we hear from all of our loyal online consumers is that one of the biggest issues with Soylent is when they forget it,” he said. “They forget it at home, they get frustrated because they can’t get it anywhere else, and we’ve already heard from them in the markets where we’ve launched and they’re thrilled.”

KRā Organic Sports Drink Expands to 16 States

KRā Organic Sports Drink has launched in Mariano’s markets in Chicago and Earth Fare stores across the Mid-Atlantic, South and Midwest regions, the company announced in a press release last month. The new retail partnerships grows the startup brand’s presence to 16 states, including Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey.

“We created KRā because we wanted to bring a better-for-you, organic sports drink to the market,” Co-Founder Sarah Hardgrove-Koleno said in the release. “Since launching KRā last year so many people have told us how this sports drink has finally given them a product they love and can feel good about drinking.”

The company launched in Chicago and Washington, D.C. in 2016 and also sells online via Amazon.

B’More Organic Enters Mid-Atlantic 7-Elevens

Baltimore-based skyr smoothie makers B’More Organic have entered select Mid-Atlantic region 7-Eleven stores, the company announced via Twitter last week. The launch features the brand’s newly rebranded bottles.

On its Facebook page last week, the company hinted at further growth, telling a commenter that “the main event is in about 2 weeks,” tagging Whole Foods Market, Wegman’s, and MOM’s Organic Market in the post.

Right On Brands Partners with Statewide Beverage

Right On Brands Inc., maker of CBD flavored water brand Endo Water, has partnered with Statewide Beverage to expand distribution in Southern California, the company announced in a press release last week.

Endo Water is a pH balanced water infused with CBD-rich hemp oil, which provides a non-psychoactive relaxation function for consumers. The line is available in Berry Acai, Lemon Line, Cucumber, and Watermelon flavors.

“We are delighted to be partnered with Right On Brands and to be the first to distribute the Endo Water CBD flavored water in Southern California,” said Statewide Beverage Company CEO Jeff Javidzad. “As consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the potential benefits that cannabinoids offer, the demand for CBD infused products has become extremely intriguing and notable in the field of natural health. Our health and wellness-focused retail clients are constantly asking for CBD infused drinks and products for their health-conscious consumers.”

The distribution agreement also includes Humbly Hemp snack bars.

Also CBD products do not contain the high-producing THC chemical, the ingredient often finds itself in regulatory gray space. The distribution agreement comes just a month after California legalized recreational sales of marijuana and marijuana-related products.