Bai Brands, Princeton, N.J., announced a series of expansion plans that would put its line of all-natural, 5-calorie, antioxidant-infused Bai 5 drinks in all 50 states by the end of 2014. During the next 12 months, the company will expand its distribution footprint to include 12,000 new retail outlets, it says.

This week, the company launched Bai in Chicago. The launch is being supported by Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and Jewel-Osco.

“The Bai secret is now spreading across the country,” said Ben Weiss, founder and chief executive officer of Bai Brands, in a statement. “Consumers who have discovered Bai in one of our launch markets are now asking for it at their favorite retailer back in their home town. Our plan is to launch in over 1,700 new stores by the first day of 2014, which will constitute a number of key pieces of our national distribution puzzle.”

In addition to Bai’s Midwest launch, retailers including Target, Stop & Shop, Hannaford Supermarkets and Raley’s, as well as more than 100 West Coast Costco stores, have added Bai to their beverage aisles in recent months.

To support this expansion, Bai Brands recently opened a corporate office and warehouse facility in Corona, Calif., in order to build a coast-to-coast presence. The 27,000-square-foot warehouse will streamline operations on the West Coast and give the company a “Bai-coastal” presence, signaling that the brand is serious about building a national footprint, it says.

“Over the last several quarters, we have demonstrated unprecedented success in grocery channels where we have really driven our ‘look of success,’” said Ken Kurtz, president of Bai Brands, in a statement. “In coming months, we will introduce the brand more formally to the convenience channel. Consumers are thirsty for all-natural, low-sugar, low-calorie beverages that taste great. Bai is a perfect fit for the healthy beverage door in convenience stores across the country.”

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