RUNA, Keurig Dr Pepper enter distribution agreement
Contract brings organic energy drink to national level
RUNA Clean Energy, an organic energy drink made from the guayusa leaf, now is being distributed nationally by Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), Plano, Texas, and Burlington, Mass., and other regional distributor partners. RUNA contains 150 mg of natural caffeine from a single source, and comes in a range of sweetened and zero-calorie, zero-sugar variants. It was recently acquired by New York-based All Market Inc. (AMI), the parent company of Vita Coco.
RUNA previously had been predominately available in natural and specialty stores. The roll out through KDP markets follows successful results of a limited roll out in New York and California. The distribution and availability opportunities are especially significant in convenience, mass, grocery, and drug channels, where the brand now can reach thanks to its partnership with KDP.
"RUNA is a great product with a diehard following, and we're confident that the brand can be a real challenger to conventional energy drinks said Michael Kirban, co-founder of All Market Inc., in a statement. “Through a very strong partnership with DPS and now KDP, we've built Vita Coco into one of the largest ‘better-for-you’ beverage brands in the country. We're thrilled to continue our partnership with KDP as we build RUNA into the No. 1 natural energy drink." The U.S. energy drink category, which is forecasted to reach $20 billion by 2021, is one of the only remaining traditional beverage categories that has yet to be disrupted by a naturally positioned brand, the company says. Where category sales from natural and premium-positioned products are 7 percent and 4 percent in ready-to-drink coffee/tea and sports drinks respectively, they represent only 1 percent in energy drinks, it adds.
"We are excited to partner with RUNA to accelerate the growth of this brand, which provides KDP a truly exceptional product in the energy drink category," said Rodger Collins, KDP's President of direct store delivery, in a statement. "Our expansive DSD network and ability to excel at in-store execution combined with AMI's marketing capabilities and large, dedicated sales organization is a proven winner."