Try to build a beverage brand, and you’re likely to hear questions about chain stores, DSD and the leap from Whole Foods into convenience and grocery. But there are plenty of viable companies that have developed exciting and profitable beverage businesses without going anywhere near those main retail channels. From Internet sales to Yoga Studios, from Multi-Level-Marketing platforms to Dollar Stores, there are many classes of trade that allow brands to reach their full potential – or at least offer other retailers key glimpses of what that potential might be. And both entrepreneurial and mainstream brands are looking to win in new channels – because wins there can create demand elsewhere. From 5-Hour Energy’s use of countertops and vitamin supplement distributors to ZICO’s launch in hot yoga studios and a marketing program that put NOS in Auto Zone, careful thought about the markets selling your products can be as important as any marketing dollars you put behind them.
But how do you evaluate what your opportunity might be in a given channel, and how do you then think about next steps beyond that channel, as well? Do you go into the mainstream from the outside, or from in inside out? BevNET Live is offering a panel featuring experts on both conventional and unconventional retail strategies as part of its event in Santa Monica on Tuesday, Dec. 6. With Rick Zimmerman, the VP of Marketing for Sunny Delight, alternative channel strategist James Tonkin of Healthy Brand Builders; Anonymous Consulting’s Andy Steele, who built the convenience and mass channels for Glaceau; and David Vanderveen, the co-founder of XS Energy Drink.
About BevNET Live
Remaining seats are going fast for BevNET Live, the premier event for beverage entrepreneurs and their community. BevNET Live is a two-day forum for beverage entrepreneurs, suppliers, distributors, retailers and investors to gather, speak, exchange ideas through interactive panels and lectures, and enhance their marketing and product development strategies through our Beverage School. Attendees can tap the expertise of investment professionals who can help groom them to attract money, business owners with inspiring success stories, and the BevNET.com community, which has spent a decade dedicating itself to careful reporting on the fast-moving beverage industry.
About Andy Steele
Anonymous Consulting founder Andy Steele was on the executive management team for a pre-Coca-Cola Glaceau, and as that company’s Director of National Accounts for Convenience was the key hire in helping establish the vitaminwater and smartwater business in convenience, drug and value channels. Following the sale of Glaceau to Coke for $4.2 billion, he remained with the larger entity, evenutally becoming the VP of Business Development for Small Format/Target/Supervalu, managing national and regional chain accounts for brands like Vitaminwater and Smartwater, but also still-growing brands like Powerade, Fuze, NOS and Full Throttle.
Steele’s experience also includes work as a national beverage category manager for Shell Oil. After leaving Coke last month, he began anonymous consulting and sales, which is compiling a high-profile list of emerging beverage and CPG clients including Activate, The Snack Factory and Copper Mountain Beverage.
About David Vanderveen
David Vanderveen is a managing partner and co-founder of XS Worldwide, LLC., an energy drink brand that has lead the development of great tasting flavors of sugar free energy drinks and unique online distribution for beverages. David is a recognized innovator in the energy drink marketplace and has a history of success developing emerging brands and ideas. David helped create one of the fastest growing consulting groups at CA during the late 1990s, leading him to help launch NonStopNet in 1998, and then become Chief Technology Officer at Znetix in 2000. In 2001, David led the strategic turnaround of Logic Nutrition, which resulted in the re-launch of the XS Energy Drink brand via Amway in 2002. David has led the new business and brand development of XS globally since 2002.