Chia Drinks Go National After Mamma Chia Signs With UNFI

Only eight months after its initial launch, Mamma Chia yesterday announced an agreement with United Natural Foods (UNFI) to distribute its organic chia seed beverage nationwide.

“We’re very excited about working with UNFI and can’t wait to bring Mamma Chia to consumers across the country,” said Janie Hoffman, Mamma Chia’s founder and CEO.

Prior to the agreement with UNFI, Hoffman said that her company had received several outside offers and opportunities to expand distribution of Mamma Chia, but stayed patient while trying to develop the groundwork necessary for large scale production.

The company now works with a co-packer on the West Coast whom she is confident will be able to fulfill large-scale production. Though Hoffman declined to name the company, she firmly declared, “We love them,” especially since they can handle the difficult task of working with the whole chia seeds in the beverage.

“We worked really hard on building up capacity and infrastructure to be able to handle national distribution,” Hoffman said. “Now, we’re there. We’re ready.”

With a stable production and distribution model in place, Mamma Chia brought on Sean Venus as its vice president of operations to bolster its transition from regional beverage to a national brand. Venus joined the company earlier this month after having previously held management positions in operations and production at SunOpta and Gordon Biersch Brewery.

Through UNFI, Mamma Chia will be available at thousands of independent retailers and co-operatives and all Whole Foods locations throughout the country by August. The beverage, which includes whole chia seeds, organic fruit juices and organic agave nectar comes in Cherry Lime, Blackberry Hibiscus, and Raspberry Passion and Cranberry Lemonade flavors and is sold at a suggested retail price of $3.49-$3.99 per 10 oz. bottle.