Distribution Roundup: Kill Cliff Adds Sprouts, Military Exchanges

Kill Cliff Adds Sprouts, Goes Deeper in Military

Sports drink brand Kill Cliff has entered 320 Sprouts Farmers Market stores and expanded within the military channel by adding Marine Corps Exchange locations nationwide. The new accounts bring the brand’s total retail footprint to more than 2,500 doors nationwide.

According to COO John Timar, Sprouts will stock Kill Cliff’s entire beverage portfolio, which was rebranded and extended last year. In June, the company added an energy and pre-workout line, Ignite, which complements the company’s Endure and post-workout Recover lines. Speaking to BevNET, Timar said multiple retailers have brought in the full Ignite line since its launch, including Hy-Vee and Army, Navy and Marine Corps Exchange stores, with “close to 30 facings” in Marine Corps stores.

“We’re really focused on appealing to an active consumer base with Americana messaging and putting forward the DNA of our brand,” Timar told BevNET. The company was founded by military veterans and has worked closely with organizations that benefit veterans.

Timar said Ignite is seeing fast-paced growth, “selling at a rapid clip faster than anything” the company has previously released. As resets approach, he said the extended line will continue to expand nationwide which the company anticipates will generate triple-digit growth in 2019.

Timar said Kill Cliff had set a goal of 250 percent distribution growth this year, but the company has nearly achieved that goal by the end of Q1. He said Kill Cliff is focused on expanding within the natural channel in order to capture its core health-focused consumer demographic.

“We’re not going to say yes to everybody who knocks on our door,” Timar said. “We’re looking for partners, we’re looking for people who share our commitment to giving back, who share our commitment to military and veterans, who share our commitment to better-for-you products, and to have a consumer base either regionally or demographically where we excel.”

Illy Launches RTD, Partners with Hudson News Distributors and Brands Within Reach

Illy North America announced this month it has launched a line of canned ready-to-drink coffees, partnering with distributors including New Jersey-based Hudson News Distributors and brand incubator Brands Within Reach.

The line includes Cappuccino, Caffe Latte, Mochaccino, and Unsweetened Espresso varieties. Through Hudson News Distributors, the brand will have access to 15,000 stores across the Northeast including grocery, c-store, independent accounts, national chains including CVS and Target, and airport retailers.

Speaking with BevNET at Natural Products Expo West 2019 this week, Brands Within Reach CEO Olivier Sonnois said his company will focus on growing Illy’s presence in premium retailers as well as stores which currently stock the brand’s ground coffee lines.

“Cold coffee consumption has gone from being nonexistent 10 years ago to very significant today,” Sonnois said. “We have the quality, we have the name, and the packaging is great.”

Marin Kombucha Adds Costco

California-based beverage maker Marin Kombucha will launch in select Costco locations with six-packs of its Pinot Sage flavor.

The brand, founded in 2015, is currently available in Whole Foods, Nugget Markets, Mollie Stones, and independent retailers including Good Earth and Berkeley Bowl. The company has also found placement in office accounts including Airbnb, Asana, Twitter, Netflix, as well as national sports leagues.

“Despite the growing popularity of Kombucha, the category is still relatively unknown, and Costco offers an opportunity to reach a larger audience at a lower price point with our top seller Pinot Sage,” said CEO Brian Igersheim in a press release.