Just a week ago, the BevNet Live Summer Show in New York City gave brands, retailers, and those in the industry to learn what’s new in beverages, what retailers are looking for, and more. Here’s a quick recap of what went down at the show:
What Retailers Want You To Bring To The Next Pitch
At the show, retailers like Sprouts, Walmart, and Whole Foods Market had time on stage to tell brands what they look for when brands pitch their products. Here’s what each retailer had to say:
Sprouts has launched many brands in the last 20 years, like C20 and Zevia, making them an attractive retailer for brands to get their start. Their new team of foragers is looking to invent new categories or disrupt current ones. Each Sprouts store has an innovation center built with new items that rotate frequently. When it comes to pitching, they advise brands to have 3 things:
- A solid launch and promotion strategy
- The ability to clearly communicate your brand story and any ESG (Environmental, Social & Governmental) strategy
- Openness to feedback
Though Walmart has over 4,600 stores, that doesn’t mean you have to launch your product at every store right off the bat. They reminded the crowd that smaller local and regional launches are on the table instead of massive company-wide rollouts. When it comes to pitching, they advise brands to keep these two points in mind:
- Have a solid supply chain in place
- Have a marketing strategy that is focused on funneling consumers to your brand and then into the store
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market is currently focusing on need states and building incrementality, which is evident in their advice for brands looking to pitch to them. Here are 3 ideas they asked hopeful brands to focus on:
- What type of consumer buys your product? Bring supporting information like consumer panel data to answer this
- The ideal new product doesn’t cannibalize sales from another but rather brings incrementality to the category
- Tell the story of how your brand can bring in a unique shopper, or convert a current disengaged one to the set you’re targeting
All in all, the retailers highlighted the importance of a brand story that explains what’s special about your product, why consumers buy it, and how you will bring value to the retailer’s beverage set. As we all know, data talks–and it can be the common language shared between brands and retailers to communicate why your product should be on the shelves.
In a session at the show during BevNet’s Beverage School, Benji Fitts - our Director of Client Insights walked brands through the exact slides he has included in sell stories that have allowed many brands to get a space on the shelves of retailers across the country – access the full deck here.
Beverage Showdown Champion: Parch
Parch took home the award for best new beverage at BevNet Summer Live this year. Parch is a ready-to-drink (RTD) non-alcoholic cocktail inspired by the flavors of Mexico and the Sonoran desert.
This elevated take on smoky Mezcal mocktails comes in two flavors–Prickly Paloma and Spiced Piñarita–and the cans are unique, beautiful, and sophisticated. The RTD non-alcoholic space is nascent but growing triple digits (over +200% vs YAGO), and we can see brands like Parch leading the charge!
How Being Scrappy Helped Swoon Secure Interesting Opportunities
Swoon, a monk fruit-sweetened beverage, has launched two collaborations in the past year: a matcha-based drink with Chamberlain Coffee and a pink lemonade for the Barbie movie. Founders Jennifer Ross and Cristina Ros Blankfein explained that you don’t have to be a megacorp to land a high-profile deal with a company like Mattel–but you do have to hustle.
Both of these deals resulted from some scrappy marketing tactics, such as engaging directly with influencers on social media for Chamberlain and sending a showy mockup case stack display to the Mattel HQ to highlight the collab’s possibilities. “It wasn’t as expensive as you’d think!” said the co-founders. We are excited to see what is next for this trailblazing brand!