Distribution Roundup: Sprig CBD Soda Expands

Sprig CBD Soda Expands into Four States

California-based Sprig, a maker of cannabidiol-infused (CBD) sodas, has expanded its retail footprint into four new states by signing partnerships with local distributors in Florida, Illinois, New York, and Nevada.

The company launched four years ago with a line of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) soda products which are sold exclusively in California licensed marijuana dispensaries. However, in a move to reach more mainstream consumers across the country, the company launched its non-psychoactive CBD line in July in Bristol Farms stores as well as independent convenience stores and food service accounts in southern California. Speaking with BevNET, CEO Michael Lewis said the response from buyers and consumers was swift, with some c-stores moving up to 10 cases a week, leading to inbound requests from distributors to carry the brand.

“The interest has been huge, it’s been transformative for our company over the last four months,” Lewis said. “I think there’s this pent-up demand on the consumer side for CBD products, and specifically food products. Not just tinctures of topical creams, people want a beverage.”

In Chicago and Las Vegas the company is using Norman Distributing, a DSD provider that specializes in better-for-you products. In the New York metro area Sprig has partnered with Gold Coast in the New York metro area and with SAS Sales and Marketing in South Florida.

According to Lewis, in the first few weeks the brand has added at least 250 new accounts and is still receiving inquiries from distributors in other states. Lewis added that Sprig plans to expand into an additional “five or six markets” by the end of 2018.

“The immediate opportunity today is convenience stores and independent markets,” Lewis said. “They are a little more progressive than the major grocers and retailers that are still waiting for some additional regulatory clarity for CBD. So that’s what we’re really going after today, but also food service. Cafes and restaurants and bars, there’s an interest there as well.”

The Sprig CBD soda line features four flavors, including Citrus Original, Citrus Zero Sugar, Sparkling Lemon Tea Zero Sugar, and Melon Zero Sugar. The Citrus Original is sweetened with cane sugar and the Zero Sugar products are sweetened with a blend of stevia and erythritol. Each SKU contains 20mg of CBD and retails for $3.99 per 12 oz. can.

HFactor Expands Into Sprouts

HFactor, maker of a hydrogen-infused water, announced this month that it has entered 300 Sprouts stores nationwide with its “Hydro-Pack” product line, adding to the brand’s grocery presence which already includes retailers such as Bristol Farms, Erewhon, Gelsons, and Jaydes.

“We are thrilled by the addition of Sprouts to our network of retailers that are aggressively focused on bringing innovative and healthy living options to their customers,” said founder and CEO Gail Levy in a press release. “Its significant locations will add to our national footprint.”

Califia Farms Expands Drinkable Yogurt Line

Califia Farms announced this month that it has launched its Probiotic Dairy Free Yogurt Drinks line into nearly 7,000 stores across 47 states. The yogurts mark the brand’s largest single line launch to date, with the products entering conventional grocery, natural and specialty, convenience, drug, and mass retail accounts, including Walmart, Kroger, and 7-Eleven stores.

“The immediate appeal of our new Probiotic Dairy Free Yogurt Drinks across a wide variety of retail channels underscores the increased demand and mass acceptance for innovative plant-based products that have a great taste profile,” said Greg Steltenpohl, co-founder and CEO of Califia Farms, in a press release. “In just four months after launch, our Probiotic Yogurts have nearly 28,000 points of distribution – which is a major achievement for an independent company like Califia. To put in perspective, it normally takes several years for new products to incubate in Natural and Specialty stores before being picked up by mainstream retailers. This represents a real tipping point for the future of the category.”

The line is made with a blend of almonds, coconuts, and oats and includes Strawberry, Super Berry, Mango, and Unsweetened Plain flavors. The launch comes as the U.S. drinkable yogurt category is projected to grow by 13 percent by 2022, with 2017 valuation at $911 million, according to a report by Breakfast Product Trends.

Hoplark HopTea Adds Whole Foods

Hop-infused tea maker Hoplark HopTea, which launched in May, has added Whole Foods Rocky Mountain Region stores, giving the brand placement in Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah in addition to Colorado, where the company is based.

According to a press release, the retailer will carry all five HopTea flavors in 16 stores, which include The Original One, The Green Tea One, The White Tea One, The Calm One, and The Really Hoppy One flavors. The line does not contain sweeteners, artificial flavors or alcohol.