Bolthouse Farms Heading Into Convenience

Now that it’s a Campbell’s property, Bolthouse Farms is starting to flex some multi-channel muscle.

Behind a new, mainstream tagline “A Force of Nature,” the juice and smoothie operation linked to the baby carrot pioneer has agreed to work with national broad-line c-store distributor Core-Mark Holding Co., Inc. to distribute smoothies and juices to convenience stores. Up to 10 different juice and smoothie flavors will be available to Core-Mark’s 30,000 convenience accounts, according to a  press release published today on CSP Daily.

The move by Bolthouse into the convenience marketing mix is a big step for the company, which is a strong competitor to PepsiCo-owned Naked Juice as the largest supplier of super-premium juices in the U.S. Long known as a vegetable supplier, Bolthouse’s move into the juice category more than a decade ago prompted a growth surge and product diversification strategy that created a windfall both for the family that owned it and eventually for Madison Dearborn, the venture capital firm that sold it to Campbell’s last year for $1.55 billion.

Just as it has moved from Whole Foods into conventional produce aisles, the company has also diversified its RTD lines into fresh juices, smoothies, and even protein-enhanced products. Much of the convenience push will be behind Bolthouse’s Protein Plus smoothies.

The chase for convenience accounts may also put Bolthouse into competition with another Pepsi ally, Muscle Milk, in that channel, where Muscle Milk’s RTD protein-enhanced smoothies have been big sellers. Muscle Milk is distributed through Pepsi Beverages Company