San Diego-based beverage company Villager Goods is setting its sights on the kids market with Little Villager, a new line of low-sugar and organic beverages which launched in nearly 300 Target locations across the country last month.
The company also markets lines of alkaline water and organic coconut waters, but Village CEO and co-founder Josh Landan told BevNET the kids line will be the brand’s primary focus going forward.
“For me, Little Villager was really the catalyst behind the whole brand,” Landan said during a call earlier this week. “We had always had this in our head and it took us a couple years to develop it and get it off the ground, to source everything. It took longer than expected and in the meantime we launched our coconut water and alkaline water, but the crown jewel in our mind has always been Little Villager.”
Little Villager includes Apple Juice, Pink Lemonade, and Fruit Punch varieties which are available in 10 oz. single serve bottles, three-packs of 10 oz. bottles, and eight-packs of 6.75 oz. juice boxes. Each drink contains 40 percent juice and has no sugar added.
According to Landan, the brand’s team are largely parents who wanted to produce a better-for-you line of products their kids could enjoy. The flavors were chosen on basis of being long-lasting and popular beverage choices for kids.
“You don’t get more of a staple in kids beverages than those three flavors,” he said. “So that’s what all of our kids were drinking so we decided to do that. Like with coconut water and alkaline water we had all been drinking it, so we decided to make them. Same with Little Villager.”
In addition to beverages, Villager Goods will also be launching a line of fruit snacks next year under the Little Villager label.
Little Villager is set to launch on Amazon in December, followed by a national rollout in 7-Eleven that will begin in February 2019. Landan added that multiple chains are coming on board to take on the brand over the next 12 months.
Landan added that the brand has just “turned on” its social and digital media marketing efforts, which have already garnered more than 3 million impressions over the past week. The company will utilize influencer marketing via its base of athlete co-owners, which includes more than two dozen professional skateboarders, snowboarders, surfers, and photographers.
Although Little Villager is now the main focus for the company, the brand will still continue to produce and support its existing alkaline water and coconut water products.
“Are we aggressively pushing the marketing and distribution of water and coconut water? No,” he said. “But we aren’t pulling it out of the retailers that we’re with. We have a great footprint here in California and we’re doing great things with Amazon. It’s not going to go anywhere, but we’re really most excited about the kids category. The passion of all the guys and girls I own the business with, they’re all athletes and a lot of them have kids, so I think for all of us it’s the natural progression of us wanting to do something for kids rather than just something for ourselves.”