Distribution Roundup: Riff Expands in San Francisco with UNFI

Riff Cold Brewed Partners with UNFI in San Francisco

Oregon-based coffee maker Riff Cold Brewed has partnered with UNFI to expand into the Northern California market, adding retailers including Bi-Rite Market, Berkeley Bowl, The Market, and Sigona’s Farmers Market, the company announced yesterday.

Speaking to BevNET today, Riff co-founder and president Steve Barham said the company, which launched last year, is taking a “four-pronged” distribution strategy in the Bay Area — targeting traditional retail accounts with UNFI, as well as office accounts, on premise bars and restaurants, and institutional food service in hospitals and universities.

Barham said the company is building a DSD network for on-premise accounts with an emphasis on expanding its keg business and promoting the brand as an ingredient for cocktails. Similarly, the brand is looking to gain placement in top technology company offices in order to court new customers.

“I think San Francisco is probably the hotbed of tech economy workers who prefer to go to the cafeteria a hundred feet away versus the Starbucks 20 floors down,” Barham said. “So the employer services are great for the tech employees for convenience, it’s great for us because it introduces the brand to a new segment of customers who can go to the market and buy it again, and it’s great for the employer because it allows their employees to be more efficient without needing to leave the building.”

According to Barham, Riff — which has to date focused on distributing in the Pacific Northwest — intends to continue its expansion into Southern California and Seattle this year. The brand also recently added distributor Hensley Beverage Company in Arizona, a move that Riff CEO Paul Evers said was “opportunistic.”

“Our vision from the beginning was to grow geographically in the region,” said Riff co-founder and CEO Paul Evers. “We love DSD for the level of support it provides, we love broadline distribution such as UNFI and KeHE for speed to market, and obviously the office coffee service is really the best route to address the workplace and employers…. We see our first priority in scaling up to national distribution is doing well in our backyard and the Western region as a whole.”

Som Sleep Adds Walmart

Som Sleep is rolling out to 1,966 Walmart stores nationwide, the company announced last week, bringing the Los Angeles-based company’s total distribution footprint to approximately 3,000 stores.

Speaking with BevNET, Som co-founder and president Abdul Khan said the partnership with Walmart marks a significant shift for the brand, which had previously focused on regional California, New York, and Texas retailers including Gelson’s and Bristol Farms. The brand’s Original variety — which contains melatonin, magnesium, L-theanine and GABA to promote healthy sleep patterns — will be included in Walmart’s dry functional beverage set.

“Walmart is really the first time we’re getting into 2,000 doors with one retailer, so it’s a big endeavor for us,” Khan told BevNET. “But it really allows us to spread this message of better sleep across the country.”

Mother Kombucha Adds Whole Foods

Mother Kombucha has added all Florida area Whole Foods Market accounts, the company announced last week in a press release. The retailer will stock the brand’s Blue Rose, Hopped Passion Fruit, The Trop, and Lavender Mojito flavors.

“A partnership with Whole Foods Market has been a long time goal of ours and we believe our flavors and low calorie brewing style will really resonate with Whole Foods customers,” said Tonya Donati, Mother Kombucha co-founder and managing partner, in the press release.

The Florida-based brand said it has experienced triple digit growth in the past 52 weeks following its expansion into Publix Supermarkets and South East Grocers last summer. Mother Kombucha has also added multiple independent and on-premise accounts in the state over the past several months.

Phivida Launches Ecommerce for Oki Line

Phivida Holdings Inc. announced this week the launch of feeloki.com, an ecommerce platform for its Oki brand of premium beverages infused with hemp extract. The beverages, which debuted at Natural Products Expo West 2019 in March, contain 20 mg of hemp extract per 16 oz bottle.

“Going to direct-to-consumer has always been a priority for us and our newly launched e-store is a great option for consumers looking to purchase our Oki beverages and health supplements,” said Phivida CMO Mike Cornwell in a press release. “The site provides easy-to-use access for those who are located anywhere in the United States, and rewards new customer sign-ups with 10 percent off any first order. We understand the demand for our products is increasing, and we wanted to ensure a fast way to get them into the hands of everyone.”

CHERRiSH Expands Distribution into Texas and New Mexico

CHERRiSH has added 95 United Supermarket accounts throughout Texas and New Mexico for its three-SKU line of cherry juice beverages, the company announced in a press release today.

“We’re seeing our customers seek out healthy, high-quality, flavor-forward options with natural and proven beneficial ingredients,” Codie Hair, produce business manager of United, said in a press release. “The fact that our guests can get this all through a single bottle of CHERRiSH makes this an excellent item to include in our juice category. We look forward to working together to provide this great tasting, functional juice to our valued guests.”

The Seattle-based brand added that it will be adding new accounts in Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, and Washington in the coming months.